Getting to paperless is a long trek. Logging in to every site, coming up safe passwords, changing them after every hack. Several years ago, I collected all the junk mail from Citi and Southwest Airlines. At the end of the year I mailed it back to the CEO and asked them to take me off the list. Did it work? No. That said, I have made it my year goal to eliminate Junk Mail. This is not just about saving trees, it is about security, it is about being able to go away and not have to worry about the mail, is is about simplifying my life and most importantly about zero waste and junk mail is my #1 piece of trash.
I just gotta Eco Ya
- Junk Mail Kills 100 Million Trees Every Year.
- Junk Mail Produces 1 Billion Pounds of Landfill Each Year
- 28 Billion Gallons of water are wasted due to junk mail.
- Every year, American households receives a total of 104.7 billion pieces of junk mail, or 848 pieces of junk mail per household, which requires 6.5 million tons of paper
- 44% of junk mail goes to the landfill unopened.
- $320 million of local taxes are used to dispose of junk mail each year.
- Transporting junk mail costs $550 million a year.
- in 2010, the Postal Service found it was actually closer to a 1:2 ratio, with First-Class Mail bringing in $34 billion while mail termed “Advertising” brought in $17.3 billion. (Source)
The first thing I am going to do is collect for a month all the junk mail received and then start going throughout the mail to get the opt- outs going through Catalogue Choice. I will make a list of the local companies such as realtors and restaurants to send a letter to them to opt out. After the 3-6 months it takes to filter down, then I will start the next step which is the leftover pieces of junk mail, from schools, colleges, grocery stores and send them a separate letter. I figure it will take about a year to get an empty mailbox.
- Catalog Choice, is a free service that helps you submit opt-out requests for catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phonebooks, circulars and more. You log in and scroll through companies and opt out. It is quite a list of over 8000 companies. The do have some paid services to get you off mailing databases. For instance in MailStop Envelope, you just send them mailing labels from unwanted mail in a prepaid envelope.
- DMAchoice.org, is another free program by the Direct Marketing Association. They work with their 3600 members and when you send in your name, they send it out for their members to opt you out. The advantage is that it doesn’t take much work. Once logged in, you have a choice of Catalogues, Magazines and others. I opted out of all. Credit Cards you have to go to another site which is the OptOutPrescreen.
- OptOutPrescreen.com, (Free) A website created by credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion). You have several choices: Opting out for five years or opting out permanently. If you want permanent opt-out you have to mail a form in to the address provided. You can also opt- in. You may opt in or out by phone at 888-567-8688.
- 41 Pounds (Fee of $35.00 for five years) They do all the work for you, all you have to do is sign up .
- PaperKarma This might be a very easy option. Take a photo of the junk mail you wish to stop. PaperKarma will contact the Mailer and remove you from their distribution list. The app can stop most junk mail that is addressed directly to you.
- MailStop Mobile (Catalog Choice) works the same. Take a picture of the unwanted mail through the app and upload. They take it from there.