Monday, February 16, 2009

Going Green: Stop the Junk Mail

If you are anything like me, you are super annoyed by all of the junk mail you receive in your mailbox. I mean, I’m still receiving junk mail addressed to the previous owners, and we’ve lived here for almost 5.5 years! Just think about all the paper that is wasted every day from unwanted mail and catalogs – it’s awful! But now there is something we can do try to stop it (or at lease lessen in). It’s fairly easy; you just need a little time.

Paperless Bills
Most if not all of the companies that you receive bills from have an option for paperless bills. Anyone from the phone and cable to electric and even your bank statements! Call each company or go online to their website to see if you can switch to paperless.

We get way too many catalogs at our house. While I do enjoy flipping through the Pottery Barn Kids catalog every other month, it’s certainly something I do not need. I mean I have never once purchased anything from them, and I probably never will. Plus, I can always head over to their web site to take a look at what they have. So I decided I wanted to try to stop all catalogs. Catalog Choice is a pretty nifty site where you can tell them which catalogs you want, and which you do not want. It might take a little leg work at first, but just think of how much paper you will be saving. First you are going to search for the catalogs you want to stop. It will help to either have a Customer Number or Source Code from the back of the catalog (although it is not required). Take some time to go through and find each catalog you want to stop. If you change your mind in a few months, you can go back and edit your preferences.

Direct Mailings
The reason you are getting so much of these “direct mailings” is because you’re name is on their lists. So you need to get it off the list, right? But there must be thousands of lists out there! Luckily, a few companies have set up sites where you can opt-out of such mailings. Even though they are direct mailing companies themselves, they don’t want to waste money sending mail to people who don’t want it, so they will gladly take you off any of their lists. Make sure you do these for all members of your household that receive mail.

  • National Do Not Mail List - this was extremely fast and easy. You are going enter your name and address and then tell them which kinds of mailing you want to receive and which you do not (i.e. sports, family, etc.) I indicated that I wanted to receive none. I didn’t want to take a chance that I would start receiving more mail because I checked off that I like something.

  • – Here you can opt out of receiving pre-screened credit offers. I absolutely HATE these! If you opt-out online its good for 5 years. If you want to opt-out permanently, then there is a form to mail in.

  • Phone BooksThis is technically not junk mail, but still a huge waste of paper. Every year a new one gets dropped off on your doorstep, but how many people use these anymore? I look up 99% of phone numbers or businesses online these days. I can’t even remember when I last opened a phone book! There are more than 500 million phone books printed and distributed ever year – ack! Well now there is a way to “Just Say No!” to that bulky yellow book. Head over to and submit your name and address.

    Now I just did all of these myself last week, so it is too soon for me to see any kind of result. I am curious as to what kind of turn around time they have; I’m hoping to see a reduction in junk mail in the next month. Let's all give it a try and I will have a check-in at the beginning of April to see what kind of results we are seeing.


    1. Marianna, this is great information. I had no idea that a person could have their name taken off these junk mail lists. Thanks so much for posting this : )

    2. You just seriously shrunk my recycle pile!! I just canceled 5 catalogs using that site. Thank you!

    3. So exciting - I'm glad this information has been usefull!

    4. What helpful tips. I NEVER use the phone book. So happy to know I can hault it's delivery.

    5. Thanks for the tips! Although I may not get anything in the mail after canceling the junk!

    6. Great info!

      I have to say...when I get a bunch of junk mail, I mail all of the info back to them in their postal paid envelope.

    7. Thanks for posting this info--there are so many people that do not know you can cut out the junk! While you're waiting for your junk mail to whittle down, check out my post on how to turn junk mail envelopes into notepads!

    8. Thank you for the junk mail link. I opted myself and my husband out. I have to admit, I like the paper phone book. It often has coupons we use, and it's much easier to find listings I need. Maybe if we didn't move around so much it wouldn't be such a necessity. I also like it when restaurants list their menu. It allows us to see if the kids will eat there before we try a new place.

    9. No more yellow book! I am going to say no! I had no clue I could!


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