Saturday, February 7, 2009

Catalog Canceling Challenge

Want to save trees, water, energy and our climate? GSUSA invites Girl Scouts to take action with The Catalog Canceling Challenge and cancel as many unwanted sales catalogs as they can in thirty days.

We know that many people look forward to getting their favorite catalogs in the mail. Catalog shopping offers convenience and a unique assortment of products and services frequently not available to consumers in nearby stores. Many catalog mailers have taken important steps toward environmental sustainability, and the catalog industry encourages recycling and plants millions of trees each year. However, people receive too many unwanted catalogs and the impacts on the environment are significant.

The Impact

Each year 19 billion sales catalogs are mailed in the USA. 98% of catalogs are unused, eliciting no consumer response. 61 million trees are used making these catalogs. This paper production uses 59 billion gallons of water (89,000 Olympic sized swimming pools). Producing 7.6 trillion pounds of catalog paper requires 126 trillion BTUs (enough energy to power 1.4 million homes a year) and creates 24 billion pounds of CO2 global warming pollution (equivalent to the emissions of 2.2 million cars).

Helping our Environment

The Catalog Canceling Challenge was developed by 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at The Park School in Brookline, Mass. Now, kids across the country are working with their parents and teachers to cancel as many unwanted catalogs as they can. Girls from Troop 315 (Iron River, Mich.) joined and saved one-and-a-half trees by canceling 150 unwanted catalogs in only two hours. The leaders of the NE Kansas & NW Missouri Council (Topeka, Kans.) recently canceled 111 catalogs at their office! How many unwanted catalogs can the GSUSA cancel in total?! Let's find out!

So far kids have canceled 10,000 catalogs saving 120 trees, 100 thousand gallons of water and 14 thousand pounds of CO2 emissions, and they're just getting started. You can join this free and simple project to empower kids to make a difference and to help protect our planet at the same time!

To get your girls started, visit! For help canceling unwanted catalogs online, visit or

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