COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: Unsolicited papers cluttering up my life

I don’t particularly enjoy the smell or feel of newsprint. Neither do I like the piles and piles of papers that accumulate, mostly with ads and information that are of no particular interest to me, often without ever being opened. I especially don’t like it when the “New U-T” dumps unsolicited volumes of coupons wrapped in plastic on my driveway after repeated attempts on my part to get them to stop. I am not a customer of theirs, never have been. How many times must I respectfully protest?
It reminds me of our famously upside-down postal service where a similar thing occurs. They have persisted for years in delivering other people’s mail to my home after numerous corrections and pleadings to cease. They continue to ignore my requests to stop the junk mail trail — bushels of stuff that goes directly from mailbox to dumpster. Not that I enjoy being a troublemaker, but I threatened to file a complaint with the police for littering, yet the U-T continues to scatter their propaganda on my driveway. At least the junk mail to my computer can be held at bay with “unsubscribe.”
We all know that the “Do Not Call” law has helped enormously in preventing telemarketers from disturbing us, especially during the dinner hour. Why can’t these other unwelcome intrusions be addressed? Maybe I should take it up with my state legislators. Oops, those are the folks who voted against AB 1998, the plastic bag ban. Good luck! The argument I heard against this common sense legislation was mostly about jobs. Keep in mind that when I called the SD Union Tribune, the very nice guy who answered the phone was located in a call center, in Panama! I guess the U-T can’t afford to pay an American minimum wage to answer the phone. Perhaps because they spend too much on marketing/littering.
If I read a paper, it will be The Wall Street Journal, probably at the library, and my local source, The Coast News, where controversial subjects like this are thoughtfully presented. This just happens to be my seventh editorial for your reading pleasure here in our hometown paper that you can pick up at your local market place, for free.
Hopefully, the message of respect for my Made in the USA zero waste lifestyle is being heard: I prefer to be litter and plastic-free. Recycling isn’t working, the ocean is full of plastic which is killing the fish and the birds, infecting the food chain and yes, human development, while our economy is failing. Hello legislators, business owners, consumers, and purveyors of the news!

Celia Kiewit can be reached via e-mail at


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