I mentioned in my first post about becoming Zero Waste that one of my issues is junk mail. Over half of what I receive in the mail is not important. I’ve automated most of my bills and the only one I can’t is my electric bill. So, the newspapers, the credit card offers, etc., were really beginning to bother me. Since some mail can contain sensitive information, I’ve always been a little squeamish about recycling it without shredding it first. Therefor, it usually goes into the trash. I can reduce my trash by stopping the junk mail from coming in the first place, though.
The method I’ve employed thus far is to call the phone number on whatever piece of junk mail I’ve received. I then struggle desperately to speak to a person and when I do, I make it very clear I do not want to receive anything in the mail from them again. So far, this has been a very straight-forward and easy way to stop the junk mail. For other stuff, sometimes it’s not so easy to find a person to speak to or even a phone number to call. That’s where the following websites come in:
- https://www.dmachoice.org/ – DMAchoice™ is an online tool developed by the Direct Marketing Association to help you manage your mail. This site is part of a larger program designed to respond to consumers’ concerns over the amount of mail they receive, and it is the evolution of the DMA’s Mail Preference Service created in 1971.
- https://www.optoutprescreen.com/– The Consumer Credit Reporting Industry’s Opt-In/Opt-Out site allows you to opt-out for five years, opt-out for life, or opt-in if you change your mind. You can also call them directly at 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
- https://www.catalogchoice.org/ – Same concept as the previous two sites – you get unwanted mail, you report it to Catalogchoice, and they make it stop.
APPS to assist:
- Paperkarma. Although not perfect, Paperkarma has successfully stopped several companies from sending me junk mail. All you do is take a picture of the mail you’ve received, post it to Paperkarma, and a magical elf somewhere makes it stop. If the elf can’t make it stop, they let you know that it was unsuccessful in reaching someone. Very cool.
I haven’t completely stopped junk mail from arriving but I have noticed a huge difference in the amount I receive now compared to three months ago.