Mother Earth Living

How to Stop Junk Mail: Reduce Your Waste!

How to reduce the amount of junk mail you get at home.
By Misty McNally
September/October 2007
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Each year, you gain 41 pounds…in junk mail. That’s an annual average of 560 pieces of unwanted mail—about 11 pieces a week, which is 10 more than the number of personal letters you probably get. The 62 billion pieces of unsolicited U.S. mail sent annually will:

■ consume more energy in production and disposal than 2.8 million cars

■ require 100 million trees for paper

■ end up in the trash (44 percent never opened), bulking up landfills

■ waste time when you peruse and recycle mail

■ cost you money if you succumb to purchasing things you don’t need

Want to lose the flab?

In celebration of Junk Mail Awareness Week, October 1 through 7, take these simple actions:

1. Remove your name from the Direct Marketing Association list: There’s a $1 fee to do this.

2. “ Opt Out ”: Remove your name from credit card and insurance mailings:  “Opt Out” by visiting

3. Contact retailers and mailers directly to strike your name from lists for catalogs or contests. If you purchase again, your name usually gets added back to the list, so you may have to repeat the request.

4. Whenever purchasing something online or subscribing, check the box that says, “Please do not rent, sell or trade my name or address.” If no such box exists, make the request by phone, e-mail or letter.

5. Support the movement for Junk Mail legislation that allows persons to opt out of all direct-mail advertising (much like the Do Not Call registry).

These services will contact direct mailers on your behalf, for a fee. : Offers fundraising opportunities for schools.  (866) 417-4141.

■  GreenDimes : Lifetime subscription with 240 trees planted.

Stop the Junk Mail : Subscription includes catalog removal tool and tree planting. (866) 769-5885.

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