Reduce Junk Mail
A significant portion of the more than 80 billion pieces of advertising mail delivered every year consists of unwanted mail, or "junk" mail. Recycling junk mail is a good start, but reducing the amount of junk mail you receive saves landfill space and conserves natural resources. Here’s how you can reduce junk mail.
Sign Up for the Catalog Choice Junk Mail Opt-Out Service
The free opt-out service (external) offered by Catalog Choice will help you reduce your unwanted mail. On this Web site, residents and businesses can opt out of more than 4,000 different catalogs, coupons, credit offers, circulars, newsletters, other unwanted mailings and even phone books. If you do not have a computer at home, you can get on the Internet at the library and sign up, or ask someone with a computer to help you register. This service won’t necessarily eliminate all your unwanted mail. Political mailings, for example, are considered protected speech and you can’t opt out from those. And some companies and organizations still do not honor opt-out requests, although Catalog Choice is trying to put pressure on those mailers.
Contact Companies and Organizations Directly
Especially if they do not participate in the Catalog Choice program, try contacting a specific company or organization directly to stop unwanted mail. Use their customer service telephone number (often toll-free), or make your request via e-mail or from the company’s Web site.
Don’t Let Your Name Become a Commodity
Every time you enter a contest, make a purchase or donation, join a retailer’s preferred shopper club, order a product by mail, subscribe to a magazine or return a warranty card, your name and address can be placed on a mailing list and sold. To prevent this from happening, write "Please do not rent or sell my name" next to your name when you can. Also consider not returning the warranty card for a new product - it's usually not required.
Get Off Lists for Credit Offers
The major consumer credit bureaus offer an efficient removal service (external) to have your name taken off mailing lists used for credit offers. You can sign up online or call a toll-free, 24-hour number: 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
Hang Up on Junk Mail with Smartphone Apps
Updated: Jun. 7, 2013