When I sort a drawer to declutter I sometimes come across promotional materials I have been given at an expo or other event. How much of this stuff is used by the people who receive it? Do people even refer to the websites or phone numbers printed on the items?
Last weekend I went to an event which supported sustainable living and the environment. I was surprised at the amount of promotional material being handed out. As well as pamphlets of information which were useful, there were biros with phone numbers and website addresses. There were pads of post it notes, fridge magnets, writing pads, balloons and keyrings and some stalls were handing these things out in a bag. There may have been other items at stalls I did not visit.
Most of us have been to expos and seen or been given caps, visors, drink bottles, insulated bags, lanyards, badges and more with advertising on them. Do we ever actually use these things? Sometimes, maybe, but my guess is more often, no.
Often these items end up in a drawer or cupboard until we have a big tidy up. Then we probably throw these items away.
Occasionally I use some of the fridge magnets, pens and notepads I have been given but I would rather buy my own pens. Now I am being more assertive in refusing to take stuff I won't use.
How much does all this unnecessary stuff cost the companies who hand it out? How many items are dumped by companies when they change their name, address, logo or other details?
Often government organisations or places supported by government money have numerous promotional items when, I believe, a business card and an information leaflet is all that is needed. As most people have access to the internet perhaps the leaflet could be dispensed with as the business card is likely to display a web site address. How much money would be saved by not having these other items?
When it comes to the environment, it is said every bit helps, so not producing all these materials has to make a difference, even if it is only small.
As I am trying not to bring clutter into my home, not accepting unnecessary promotional materials is one easy thing I can do.
Some newsagents sell them. Various wording is used such as 'Authorised Australia Post Mail Only' as well as 'No Junk Mail'. I think Bunnings Hardware and Officeworks sells them. I have read a 'No Advertising Material' sticker is available free by ringing the Distribution Standards Board on 1800 676 136.