Stop Junk Mail
Steps to Stop Junk Mail Delivery
If you’ve ever felt aggravated over the unbelievable number of pieces of mail coming to your house daily, then you’re ready to stop the junk mail madness. And if you’re not quite yet sure whether you should bother, check out these junk mail stats:
- Junk mail in the US is almost epidemic, with over 1 billion pieces of mail sent from companies and nonprofits every year.
- Developed countries consume 87% of all the writing and printing paper used worldwide.
- The paper industry consumes the largest portion of forest resources, which are most often taken from ecologically sensitive regions like the Boreal Forests in Canada and plantations in Indonesia.
- Most Britons receive 8 pieces of junk mail a week (400 a year), while Americans receive more than double that.
Steps to stop junk mail
Get control of your mailbox by using these ideas for stopping junk mail from coming to your home. Your letterbox will thank you for the weight it loses and the planet will be thankful for protecting its forests.
- “No junk mail” sign: Sometimes it’s the simplest things that solves the problem. You could try putting a “No Junk Mail” sign on the inside or outside of your letterbox to discourage the mailman from leaving unwanted junk.
- Get your name on the “do not mail” list: These industry associations often maintain “do not mail” lists. By signing up for a direct marketing association’s opt out program, you’ll be cutting the junk mail off at the source since they’ll no longer be able to trade or sell your information. You can even get your name on the “Do Not Call Registry” to stop telemarketing calls, too!
- Register with a junk mail management organization: By signing up with one of these organizations, you’ll be having someone else reduce the aggravation of junk mail for you. By paying an annual fee, these organizations handle the removal of your name from common registry and exchange lists:
Note that some countries have stricter direct mail policies protecting consumers, the number of mail reduction services are often limited.
- Contact companies directly: Advocate for yourself by talking directly to companies like Victoria’s Secret and Sears and ask them to remove you from their mailing lists. Do the same with nonprofit organizations and any other solicitors you’d rather not hear from every week. And don’t forget to call credit card companies and tell them they do not have permission to sell or trade your information to other organizations. Most direct mail comes with a contact phone number and/or email you can use for this purpose. Three big offenders can be reached at the following numbers:
- America Online Discs - 1-800-827-6364
- Clearinghouse Sweepstakes - 1-800-645-9242
- Val-Pak Coupons - 1-800-676-6878
- Don’t fill out warranty cards: These are primarily used to collect your personal information for the purposes of selling or trading it later. So unless they’re required for warranty purposes (most are not), do not mail them in.
If you want to further reduce your paper mail then check out our Reduce Mail article.
1 Junk Mail Campaign. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2010, from ForestEthics: http://www.forestethics.org/downloads/dnm_factsheet.pdf
2 Global and U.S. Paper Production and Consumption Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2010, from Environmental Paper Network: http://www.environmentalpaper.org/PAPER-statistics.html
3 (Global and U.S. Paper Production and Consumption Statistics)
4 The size of the problem. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2010, from Green Letterbox: http://greenletterbox.org/junk-mail-facts.php
5 (Junk Mail Campaign)