Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Go Green in 2008 ~ Junk the junk mail

Thanks for your support for the green living posts! I think it will be a lot of fun. One thing I don't want to do, I assure you, is come off as preachy. My motto is We do what we can do. Don't worry - I plan to show my dichotomy of green versus chemical stockpile shortly. Please take any advice shared here with a grain of salt, and please feel free to share your opinions and things you do to make our world a little greener. I hope to learn new things as well!

This month's Martha Stewart Living article on banishing junk mail was an eye opener for this "seasoned" recycler. I have looked into this at various times, and was faced with instructions like "contact each sender individually in writing to request they remove your name from their list" or "mark mail return to sender." I wanted to do the right thing, but I didn't really want to invest my time, money for postage, or waste even more trees to solve the problem at hand. Meanwhile the junk mail kept coming, and was tossed in the recycle bin with nary a glance.

(Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

I hadn't really looked into the process for reducing junk mail for quite some time, so I was pleasantly surprised to read the MSL article and learn about all the online services available. I have done them all, and am crossing my fingers that I will see a dramatic reduction in junk mail soon!

Credit card offers ~ Actually, this one I did know about, and signed up for a year ago. We now only receive offers from our alma maters (I suppose they'll never leave us alone), so this was a success.

Direct Mail Association ~ Direct marketing ads, associated with the USPS. Some would say the post office's rate are kept relatively low because of the money they receive from DMA. However, the ads drive me nuts! No changes yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Valpak ~ The blue envelope. There may be a truly amazing deal inside, but I'd never know. Straight to the recycling bin.

ADVO ~ Grocery store circulars. I'm not much of a bargain hunter when it comes to groceries, so these will not be missed.

Catalogs ~ This was my favorite! We're at 31 and counting. I love catalogs, of course. But...I am more prone now to look at my favorite stores' websites than browse the catalogs. The figures on how much paper is used for catalogs is staggering.

More tips ~ Check to see if your city allows junk mail in your recycling bin. Also consider placing a sign on your door to reduce flyers and ads being left there.


kate1976 said...

Hello! In case you have any readers from the UK, I thought I would share a couple of useful links. First cold calling (which I know is not really a 'green' issue but is really annoying!): register with and the cold calls pretty much totally stop!

Then register with the junk mail equivalent which is not as effective but we certainly noticed a dramatic drop in random junk mail:

Hope this is of use to my fellow compatriots. Happy new year!

tricia said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! What helpful links these are. I have wanted to stop my junk mail for so long, but like you , the amount of time it would have taken just overwhelmed me. It took only a few minutes, and I have greatly reduced the amount of junk mail I;ll be receiving. Yay!

Junie Moon said...

Thanks for the tips! I've done most of them and it has really curtailed a lot of the problem.

Dee Light said...

Thanks for the info!!! Not only would less junk mail be good for the environment, it would simlpify my life. I always intend to use those Val-Pack coupons, and I too love the catelougs, but it all creates a lot of clutter. I really don't have time to read the suff anyway! And all of those credit card offers are such a headache!!!

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing the links. I am currently at 37 catalogs on the same link you posted for catalogs. I found the link on another blog a few weeks before Christmas and I was sooo excited to just get those catalogs in the mail and have them gone the moment I could get to the computer.

I'm so excited to use the credit card offer removal site that you posted about to get rid of those as well.

Shanna said...

ugh! credit card offers are insane! the hubby and i get at least 2 each a day! my mom gets all our mail and then forwards it to us here in kuwait so the entire package is filled with a least 20 offers! i tried the link to reduce the credit cards junk but it won't let me because i'm not on an ISP server. :( BTW, there's also an "opt-out" type 1-800 number somewhere on the offers that you can call.

chest of drawers said...

I got so sick of taking all the paper to the recycling bin so we got a sticker from the postoffice for our mail box stopping advertising and we cancelled our daily paper which we now read online. I´m trying to reduce plastic now - which isn´t quite as easy.