Cut Down on Junk Mail

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DECEMBER 15, 2007

junk mail

I just ran across this online and thought it was good. Do something for the environment this year to offset all the trees you're cutting down for wrapping paper! I'm sorry that it's only directly applicable to Americans, but I'm sure similar ideas will be useful in other countries.

Now is the perfect time to cut down on junk mail. Did you know that each year millions of trees and billions of gallons of water are used to create junk mail, most of which never gets recycled? There are several things you can do to reduce how much junk mail you receive.

Get off of national mailing lists by sending your name, address, and signature to:
Mail Preference Service
c/o Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
Every time you subscribe to a magazine, buy something from a catalog or online store, or donate money, be sure to say (by phone or email):
"Please do not rent or sell my name or address."
If you don't want to receive catalogs or solicitations from charitable organizations, ask that your address not be added to any mailing lists.

Sign up for the free service Catalog Choice to opt out of catalogs.

Call your credit card companies and banks to make sure your address isn't sold. Say no to credit card offers by calling the credit reporting industry's opt-out number:
Have your address removed from the Valpak and Advo mailing lists by clicking those links.

When you receive unwanted mail, take a minute to call the company (usually toll-free) to remove your address from its list.

Some companies will remove you from all mailing lists for a fee. You can find them by doing an Internet search for "reduce junk mail." Here's a free one. Here are a few others.

After using junk mail—and any other paper you don't need to keep—as scrap paper, recycle it. 

And this is my personal favorite: If you constantly receive credit card offers like I do, just put a non-identifying part of the application back in the postage-paid envelope, unsigned. It'll cost the credit card company X cents to pay the postage back to them, and it will cost them X dollars an hour to pay somebody to open them, and if everybody did that they would soon learn to quit it. An added benefit is that it gives the US Postal Service double the business, which is a good thing. Whatever your beefs are with your local post office, they do provide an amazing service at a small price. And it's better to have Capital One and Visa pay to keep the USPS afloat rather than subsidies from our tax dollars. 

For those of you who claim to be conservatives or libertarians who care about the environment, but use the excuse that you don't want the government up in your business regulating what you can do, this is a great way to take your own initiative to interact directly with corporate America before legislation becomes more attractive to curb this problem.

Anyway, I hope you'll take the 10 minutes it would require to click through all those links and send the appropriate requests. It's so easy, and would make such a big difference!

1 comment:

William said...

Also don't forget to sign the petition for a Do Not Mail Registry at!

William Craven
Do Not Mail Campaign