March 20, 2014

How to Stop Getting all that Junk Mail!

Alternate Title:  Can You Make Your Mail Carrier the Biggest Loser?


Reducing mail is like losing weight.  It takes forever.  You don’t see results for weeks.  And once the weight is off, it takes work to keep it that way.  But, it is a whole lot easier than giving up sugar carbs.

There are two steps to mail reduction, one is proactive and the other reactive.    

Proactive:  Get in the mindset of "an empty mailbox is a happy mailbox" and do these things ahead of time.

  • Reconsider your magazine subscriptions or newspapers.
  • Go paperless on your bills.
  • Don’t sign up for stuff in stores.
  • When you do sign up for something, find the “Opt-out” option on their form.  Look for it like you did the last Twinkies at Target.  Ask, if you can’t find it.
  • Register at dmachoice.org and catalogchoice.org.  **I will say - I’m not a fan of these.  After registering and coming up with (yet another) password, you are required to search for every company that sends you mail.  I’d rather wait for the catalog to come in the mail and be… 

Local Realtor:  You Don't Stand a Chance
Reactive:  For some reason it seems most efforts in my life are on the reactive end of the spectrum.  But in this case, I prefer it.  When I get a piece of unsolicited mail I set it aside in a red folder and usually when the littlest is napping, I grab my phone and go all Kalifornia on solicitors.  Well, at least I try to cut down their mailing lists by one.  Like keeping weight off until the reunion, diligence is required. 

  • Some make it easy.  “If you’d prefer not to receive I Love Cats Weekly call…"
  • Some try to hide their phone number in small, grey print.
  • Some make you go online to find a phone number buried in “Contact Us”.
  • Some only let you do it by email.
  • And some, like one of our local Valvoline outfits, make you come in personally.

Oh, and when you get a credit card application, look on the bottom for this number and call it immediately:  1-888-5-OPT-OUT.  It’s legit and works.  You can also go here and opt out for longer (for..ever?).  This requires you to print and mail in (hmmm...) a form.

It’s mostly easy, mindless work you can do while making those protein smoothies you’re a little sick of. 

Zero mail, save for a few Donut Mart coupons?  Definitely Zero Waste win.
 

 

**Or, something for you fancy-fone people out there, PaperKarma.  An app where you take a picture of your address on the back of a Bed, Bath and Beyond flyer for example (because those guys could find an escaped convict holed up in a Mongolian yurt) and the app sends it to magic people that take your name off a list.  I’ve never tried it so I can’t vouch.  Too cheap for a smart/fancy fone these days.  Anyone else had luck with PaperKarma?


2 comments:

  1. You know what we do in chez Tyson? I mean, besides the Opt-Out, donotcall.gov, etc. When I get junk mail, I take everything out of the mailing. Recycle any piece of paper with our name/address, stuff all the rest of the paper in their "no postage required" envelope, and mail it back to them.

    I learned that those companies don't pay for that postage unless they get the envelope back. So there!

    That trick doesn't take me off their list, but it makes me feel better, and only takes a couple seconds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. No, it doesn't get you off the list but catharsis is always good. And they don't know where it's coming from I suppose. :-)

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