I always wonder how many hours of my life have been going to the mailbox and getting nothing of importance. At one point, my mailbox would have at least a couple of pounds of junk mail in it per day. I got used to going to the recycling bin before even walking into the house since most of what I’d get was junk mail. Oh and don’t even get me started on election years!
I’m certain postal workers days would be cut in half if they eliminated everyone’s junk mail.
It goes beyond the sheer annoyance of getting it. What really gets under my skin is how companies are allowed to do this with the massive negative impact junk mail actually has on the Earth. Junk mail destroys 100 million trees per year! That’s like cutting down every single tree in Rocky Mountain National Park every four months. And with the RMNP being our families favorite National Park to visit, this makes my stomach turn.
But what about the junk mail that gets tossed? 5.6 million tons of catalogs and other pieces of junk mail end up in US landfills annually. It’s just absolutely insane the amount of nonsense waste that is made. Trees get cut down for literally no purpose what-so-ever.
So is there any hope we can stop junk mail before it even gets to our homes? Short answer: yes. Long answer: it takes a lot of time, persistence, and determination to get junk mail under control but once you develop a system, you can get rid of junk mail for good!
Here’s how you do it.
How to Get Rid of Junk Mail For Good
Utilize Online Removal Services
There are a ton which, in my opinion, is wonderful. That just means you can stop junk mail on several fronts. Here’s a list all of the companies who will help you reduce your junk mail.
Catalog Choice offers a free service that helps you stop unwanted junk mail and magazines. Just create an account, select the companies from which you want to stop receiving mail, and that’s it!
This online service allows people to “opt-in” or “opt out” of insurance and credit card offers. OptOutPrescreen.com is the only internet website authorized by Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion for this purpose under the FCRA.OptOutPrescreen.com will not contact consumers via email, telemarketing or direct mail solicitations. I believe it asks for your SSN but it’s not required.
dmachoice.orgRemoves you from certain mailing lists.
directmail.comA National do not mail list to help stop unwanted mail being delivered to your home.
Eliminating Credit OffersSadly, if you exist, then your data has been bid for and sold. That’s just the world we live in. There is an easy way to stop these types of offers by calling 1-888-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688).
Phone BooksVisit https://www.yellowpagesoptout.com/ to opt-out of getting those wasteful phone books thrown into your driveways. This site also has resources on how to recycle your unwanted directories.
What about everything else?
Once you’ve been diligent with filling out all of the “opt-out” websites you can, which do work (I’ve had a lot of success with them), there’s still room for improvement. Those services will not catch everything.
Contact Companies Directly
Sometimes you will have to call a company directly to tell them you want off of their mailing lists. Just ask me how many times I’ve had to call AT&T. 3. 3 times.
Contact Companies Via Social Media
I know that sounds strange but I do NOT have all day to sent on the phone to tell someone I don’t want to their trash mail. A lot of times, I’ll find the company on Facebook and send them a private message. So far, it’s worked every time.
Look for Company Names on Weekly Grocery Flyers
Some of those promotional sales flyers have a company name associated with them. Like Red Plum for instance. Here’s the link to be removed from those.
If your Name is On the Mail, Then You Are on a List
Yep, if you see your name on those flyers or junk, there is a list that you are on. This is more of a tip to find the best way to be removed. Because if your name is not on the mail, then the mail is being delivered by neighborhood rather than address.
Get to Know Your Postal Worker
This is especially helpful to stop the mail that is just filler and not being delivered directly to you. This is because there is no list to be removed from. I simply had a conversation with my lovely mail lady telling her that we are trying to reduce our waste. She agreed to our request so I put a little gift of bulk chocolates with a thank you card in the mailbox the next day. I still don’t get those flyers.
Add a Decal to Your Mailbox
You can get a decal that says “No Junk Mail or Solicitations” for your mailbox. This won’t work solely by itself, though. You will have to have a conversation with your mail delivery person. This decal does act as a great reminder to whoever is delivering your mail and is another layer of avoidance.
Be Cautious of Sweepstakes, Contests, or Any Forms
I’d be a little wary of any forms that require you to fill out your address. There’s probably a pretty good chance you’ll start receiving something in the mail after.
Keep At It!
This isn’t something that you do once and forget. It’s a beast that keeps on attacking and probably one of the hardest areas to eliminate waste. Once you get it under control, eliminating junk mail will get easier. But don’t ever let your guard down because it can get out of hand real quick.
Recycle and Donate
And as your last option, donate any unwanted magazines to charity or doctor’s offices and recycle the rest of the junk mail you receive.
Did I miss anything? Is there an area of junk mail I didn’t cover? Please, comment below and I’ll get those resources added!