Save the Trees and Stop Stuffing my E-Mail Inbox

Save the Trees and Stop Stuffing my E-Mail Inbox

© David Burton 2010


Save the Trees

     The amount of crap that I receive through the mail is amazing. I get unsolicited mail for this and I get unsolicited mail for that. If I recognize it as such, much of the junk mail goes into the recycle bin without being opened. While the rest of the mail may get opened, much of it is still worthless junk mail, at least to me. Particularly annoying to me is the mail that I may want to read, but which comes with additional pages of useless material.

     One of my pet peeves is my monthly credit card bills. Now I know that I can have them sent to me over the internet, but Iíve had some problems with receiving my internet billing, so I have some of these credit card bills mailed to me as backup. After paying my credit card bill, I retain a copy until the next monthís bill is received. Even if I get my bill via the internet, I still need to print out a copy of the bill for my records. The annoying part is that there are only one or two pages of the bill that I need to have Ė yet, each bill comes with another four or five pages of what, to me, is useless material. Some of these pages are advertising, but others are a variety of disclaimers, privacy notices, and other such legalese. I donít need this junk and I donít want to receive it. The problem, I believe, is that much of these unneeded words are mandated by the federal government and the bureaucrats who need to impose such mandates in order to justify their salaries and benefits.

     To do away with all this waste of paper, I propose the following statement (or something similar to this statement) in place of all the legal wording that I never read and which I suspect 99% of all recipients also never read. How many of you read the legal statement in the mail or e-mail that you get?

All notices required by law and/or other relevant information will be provided to the recipient upon written or e-mail request.

     I would also request that all bills totally separate advertising from the billing information and place such advertising on separate pages in order for me to keep the one or two pages of billing information that I need to file and I can then readily discard the advertising material that I donít need.

Stop Stuffing my Mailbox

     My e-mail in-box gets filled each day with a variety of junk that is commonly referred to as ĎSPAMí. Much of this gets automatically filtered out of my in-box and into my spam box. Still more junk e-mail makes it into my normal in-box where I filter it out manually. The major reason for this blizzard of junk e-mail is that it basically costs the sender nothing to annoy me with material that I donít want to receive. If he/she had to pay to send me this junk via snail-mail, he/she might go broke - the sender would, at least, be somewhat selective in deciding what to mail and to whom.

     Here is a sample of some of the spam that fills my computerís in-box each and every day.

  • $10 off Best Seats for "Spelling Bee" @ the Lyric Stage
  • Get 2-for-1 tickets to tons of great events!
  • See Photos of Other Singles in Your Area at...
  • Compare Affordable Health Plans with . . .
  • Web Exclusive || Special on . . . Wireless Phones!
  • Banks Forced to Forgive Credit Card Debt... See If You Qualify for Relief!
  • Send a beautiful . . . E-card to friends and family
  • Heard about incorporating in Nevada? Find out what the buzz is about with our complimentary book.
  • Look for your NEW Catalog from . . . !
  • Watch for your NEW Catalog from . . . !
  • Introducing Choice Hotels Music
  • Halloween Flags $10 off of $25: Free Ship
  • 20% off custom cards for every occasion from . . . !
  • AlleyChat for August 2010
  • Local Restaurant Coupons now available for download
  • 09' and 10' Models - HUGE SAVINGS & FREE QUOTES!
  • Job Offer -
  • Secret Shopper Needed
  • Receive a gift with . . . membership
  • BREAKING NOW - iPad auctioned off for $18.23!
  • Mystery Shopper (Please Respond To This Email)
  • Printer Ink and Toner for 70% off + Free Shipping!
  • Free* $850 Home Security System monitored by . . .
  • Bumper-to-Bumper Auto Warranty Special . . .
  • Spice up your love life today
  • Get your monthly supplies of Cialis
  • We want you to benefit from free Cialis
  • Be rock hard 24/7
  • Free & Cheap e-Books on Love, Love-making Techniques, Dating, Romance, Seduction, Get Ex Back, Making-up etc.
  • Go Back To School. | YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR A GRANT!
  • Credit Card Companies Could Erase Your Debt! See If You Qualify for Relief!
     I suggest we put some of our software gurus to work devising a means of detecting unsolicited advertising that comprises the majority of spam and who is sending it. I have faith that there are software geniuses out there that are equal to this task. I then propose that the federal government tax all such spam at rates equal to or greater than postal rates. Then, letís see how much unwanted spam makes it into my in-box.

Stop Giving Me Medical Advice

     Iím watching my favorite program on TV and during a commercial break I find out that thereís a new medicine available for curing my drooping left eyelid. The new medicine is available by prescription from my physician. Thatís great! I have had a drooping eye lid forever and thereís been no cure available until now. BUT, there are ten potentially fatal side effects to the drug and there are also minor side effects like impotence, leprosy, blindness, total paralysis and hoof-and-mouth disease. Why in heavens name do they include this kind of information with the advertisement? Weíre talking about a prescription medication here. My physician knows my medical condition and what other medications I take. He and/or the pharmacist are the ones that should be: a) deciding if this new drug is appropriate for me, b) explaining the risk/benefits to me, and c) describing to me the side effects and the symptoms of these side effects for which I should look out.

     A 30-second radio or television commercial is not the place to be listing all the adverse reactions to a drug or medicine. Drug companies should not have to spend a portion of their advertising budget on this kind of material. The place for that is the doctorís office and/or the druggistís counter. The TV or radio commercial needs to tell me that the medicine is available and what it is good for. It should then simply tell me to see my physician for details and to have the physician determine the drugís appropriateness for me personally.

     We donít need to see the following every time there is a Viagra commercial.


  • Do not take VIAGRA if you take nitrates, often prescribed for chest pain, as this may cause a sudden, unsafe drop in blood pressure.
  • Discuss your general health status with your doctor to ensure that you are healthy enough to engage in sexual activity. If you experience chest pain, nausea, or any other discomforts during sex, seek immediate medical help.
  • In the rare event of an erection lasting more than 4 hours, seek immediate medical help to avoid long-term injury.
  • If you are older than age 65, or have serious liver or kidney problems, your doctor may start you at the lowest dose (25 mg) of VIAGRA. If you are taking protease inhibitors, such as for the treatment of HIV, your doctor may recommend a 25 mg dose and may limit you to a maximum single dose of 25 mg of VIAGRA in a 48-hour period.
  • In rare instances, men taking PDE5 inhibitors (oral erectile dysfunction medicines, including VIAGRA) reported a sudden decrease or loss of vision. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to these medicines or to other factors. If you experience sudden decrease or loss of vision, stop taking PDE5 inhibitors, including VIAGRA, and call a doctor right away.
  • Sudden decrease or loss of hearing has been rarely reported in people taking PDE5 inhibitors, including VIAGRA. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the PDE5 inhibitors or to other factors. If you experience sudden decrease or loss of hearing, stop taking VIAGRA and contact a doctor right away.
  • If you have prostate problems or high blood pressure for which you take medicines called alpha blockers, your doctor may start you on a lower dose of VIAGRA.
  • VIAGRA should not be used with other treatments that cause erections. VIAGRA should not be used with REVATIO as REVATIO contains sildenafil, the same medicine found in VIAGRA.
  • VIAGRA does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
  • The most common side effects of VIAGRA are headache, facial flushing, and upset stomach. Less commonly, bluish vision, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light may briefly occur.
  • Please see full prescribing information for VIAGRA (25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg) tablets.
     What we do need is something like the following. See your health care provider to determine the appropriateness of this medication for you personally. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider, considering the unique characteristics of the patient.

     TV and radio spots are not the only places where we find this outpouring of information that belongs in the doctorís office. How many of you have seen full page advertisements in magazines for medications which are followed by another full page of finely spaced verbiage that goes into minute details about all the potential problems brought on by the use of this particular medicine? Have you read through all the legal and medical mumbo jumbo? Do you understand it? Here again, save the trees, my patience and the cost of placing this flood of information in the wrong place. Again, the drug companies need only add a one-sentence statement to the effect that, if I am interested in using the new drug, I should see my physician for details and to determine its appropriateness for me personally, at which time any potentially adverse side effects will be explained to me. The time and place for me to obtain information about how to use the drug, what the adverse side effects are and what to look out for should be in the prescribing physicianís office while and/or after the doctor and I have discussed the use of the medicine.

     Below is an example of the wasted verbiage in a Sunday supplement of a local newspaper for a prescription medication. Again, this information needs to come from my physician, not on the back page of an advertisement for the medicine in a newspaper of magazine.

Useless Medical & Legal Junk

     We have become a society that is obsessed with simply spewing out information, whether or not it is useful or appropriate. Much of this is dictated by fear of lawsuits and government mandated disclosures. Some information is indeed useful, such as that on food labels. Unfortunately, too much of similar information is useless, costly and irrelevant and serves only to keep lawyers and bureaucrats employed. America is suffering from diarrhea of legal and government pens.


  30 September 2010 {Article 96; Whatever_21}    
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