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tommac
2010-May-22, 02:20 AM
What would be a rough estimate of the amount of carbon that is stored in a days worth of US junk mail?

111162259 households x 3 pieces on average of junk mail ( weight of about 1/4 lb ???)

so about 22790564 lbs of paper.

it seems that every lb of of printer paper produces 4 pounds of carbon dioxide
http://www.stewartmarion.com/carbon-footprint/html/carbon-footprint-stuff.html#one-pound-printer-paper-produces-4-pounds-carbon-dioxide

so actually we are back to: 111162259 lbs of carbon dioxide per day in the US just from junk mail ...

does this sound right?

DrRocket
2010-May-22, 02:52 AM
What would be a rough estimate of the amount of carbon that is stored in a days worth of US junk mail?

111162259 households x 3 pieces on average of junk mail ( weight of about 1/4 lb ???)

so about 22790564 lbs of paper.

it seems that every lb of of printer paper produces 4 pounds of carbon dioxide
http://www.stewartmarion.com/carbon-footprint/html/carbon-footprint-stuff.html#one-pound-printer-paper-produces-4-pounds-carbon-dioxide

so actually we are back to: 111162259 lbs of carbon dioxide per day in the US just from junk mail ...

does this sound right?

It depends strongly on how many people are mailing chunks of coal.

m74z00219
2010-May-22, 03:00 AM
It depends strongly on how many people are mailing chunks of coal.
:naughty: That's a pretty snide remark. There's no need for that.

Swift
2010-May-22, 03:11 AM
:naughty: That's a pretty snide remark. There's no need for that.
I think it was a joke. In any case, please leave the finger wagging to the moderators, unless you mean it as a joke.

Ara Pacis
2010-May-22, 05:54 AM
Does someone think that fourth-class mail is the key to the missing carbon paradox?

slang
2010-May-22, 11:41 PM
What's wrong with counting the number of entries in the CC field?

Oh, snail mail. nvm.

Cave Dweller
2010-May-23, 06:58 AM
So if I save my junk mail instead of throwing it out, can I sell carbon offset credits against it?

danscope
2010-May-23, 05:18 PM
New rule: If 75% of the people in a zip code elect to not recieve junk mail, then that zip code becomes 'UNDELIVERABLE' to junk mail.
Done. And seriously, we should have done this a Long, Long time ago.
Every day, there is a large trash can full of junk mail at MY post office. How ridiculous.

Time for a reset on the concept of junk mail. No one has a "Right" to stuff my mailbox with wasted ecological resources.
There. I feel much better. :)

HenrikOlsen
2010-May-23, 06:11 PM
does this sound right?
No, but that's because you're imprecise about what you're asking.

Carbon "stored" is very different from carbon dioxide produced as part of a full life cycle.

Assuming the paper is mostly cellulose (C6H10O5), then (rough numbers) 6*12/(6*12+1*10+5*16) or 0.4444 by weight will be carbon. Burning it will release (1*12+2*16)/(1*12)= ~3.66 lb of CO2 per lb of carbon, or 6*12/(6*12+1*10+5*16)*(1*12+2*16)/(1*12)= ~1.63 lb of CO2 per lb of paper.

The 4lbs CO2 per 1lb paper includes an estimate of the CO2 produced as a side effect of making the energy needed to produce the paper, this is the number relevant for the question "How much is CO2 release reduced by not producing 1 lb of paper?"
The 1.63 lbs "stored" in the paper is the answer to the question "How much is CO2 release reduced by storing 1lb of paper indefinitely instead of throwing it out?"

This, incidentally, is why the first step of the mantra is "Reduce". The savings as a result of reducing use in the first place tends to overshadow the effect of reusing and recycling.

DrRocket
2010-May-23, 11:28 PM
This, incidentally, is why the first step of the mantra is "Reduce". The savings as a result of reducing use in the first place tends to overshadow the effect of reusing and recycling.

Exhaling releases CO2. A reduction in that activity would be most beneficial, particularly if appropriately targeted. I can provide recommendations.

Swift
2010-May-24, 12:44 AM
Exhaling releases CO2. A reduction in that activity would be most beneficial, particularly if appropriately targeted. I can provide recommendations.
DrRocket,

When making jokes like that (I assume this is a joke), it might be wise to include a :D, so we know its a joke.

DrRocket
2010-May-24, 01:31 AM
DrRocket,

When making jokes like that (I assume this is a joke), it might be wise to include a :D, so we know its a joke.

You assume correctly.

If someone is reporting that post, then perhaps they are taking it and themselves too seriously.

Cave Dweller
2010-May-24, 12:12 PM
Exhaling releases CO2. A reduction in that activity would be most beneficial, particularly if appropriately targeted. I can provide recommendations.

But too much of a reduction will lead to decomposition, which also releases CO2.

tommac
2010-May-24, 08:02 PM
You assume correctly.

If someone is reporting that post, then perhaps they are taking it and themselves too seriously.

Just for the record ... it wasnt me ... ;-) I dont need to get blamed for more stuff.