Tired of receiving paper junk mail at home?
The average American receives 41 pounds of junk mail a year. Many of the pieces I receive are so thick my shredder cannot handle it, unless I open it the junk mail up. (That has to be by design!) Think about the catalogs, credit card applications, coupon books, and other wasteful nuisances you receive every day in the mail.
There are some steps you can take to reduce this environmental and personal nuisance.
Here’s how to reduce physical junk mail:
1) Make a Phone Call: Stop the two biggest offenders of junk mail, insurance & credit card companies. To eliminate credit card offers: Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688). This is a free service that will eliminate credit card offers permanently, or for two years, determining on the option you select. This is a service provided by the main consumer credit reporting agencies like TransUnion, Equifax, etc. They maintain a mailing list and this list is often used by credit card and insurance companies who send out tons of junk mail. You do have to provide your social security number, which may scare away some, but these agencies already have that info. This website OptOutPreScreen.com offers to do the same.
2) Use an Online Service: There is an online service called 41pounds.org that can help reduce your junk mail for five years for a $35 fee. They promise to cut 90% of your physical junk mail. That’s two cents a day. They will contact companies for you after you fill out one short form. They donate $10 of the $35 fee to a tree planting initiative to offset the paper used in annual junk mail.
Catalog Choice: Trusted ID Mail Preference Service is another online service that offers two options. You can select a free service that helps to eliminate the junk mail you are currently receiving, or you can sign-up for a premium service that eliminates current junk mail and is also engineered to stop data brokers from collecting your info for future mailings.
3) Use a Smartphone App: the free app PaperKarma allows you to take a picture of the junk mail you receive and it will contact the company on your behalf to end the junk mail. You are given four free “credits” for submissions and after those are used an in-app purchase offers to provide more.
4) Write a letter: Yes, fight paper with paper.
You can write a letter asking that your address be removed from future mailings and to junk mail brokers to:
Direct Marketing Association, Mail Preference Service
PO Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735
PO Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
I can’t recommend wasting the time of contacting each sender individually, though you could with a letter or make a phone call, unless that sender sends a high percentage of the junk mail, then of course, it would be worth the free call to the 800 number or a letter. Maybe. If you do make the call be sure to use your speaker phone or headphones and get some other projects completed while you are on hold, because you will be on hold.