No More Junk Mail

I recently started receiving huge amounts of travel catalogs. I'm talking multiple reams of paper worth of literature about visiting Colorado. I don't have any immediate plans to visit the Centennial State, so I'm not sure why they've been sending me so much literature. But it kept on coming, and filling my recycling bin. Seemed wasteful to me, so I decided to look into it.

Over 100 million trees are cut down annually to produce junk mail. That's a lot of deforestation! Unfortunately, most of that mail goes directly into landfills, contributing more than 4 million TONS of paper waste every year.

The average person receives about 40 lbs of paper junk mail every year. So imagine the positive impact that one person cancelling their junk mail can have on the planet!

Stopping junk mail is a great way to help the planet AND stop the annoying junk from showing up in your mail box. Here are some tools to help you do it.

  • The PaperKarma App - I'm presently obsessed with this (free) mobile app. Take a quick photo of the junkmail in your mailbox, and the app takes care of the rest. The folks behind the app identify where the junkmail is coming from, and contact the sender to have you removed from their lists. Your profile can contain multiple addresses so you can use it for mail you receive at home, at work, etc. The whole thing is BRILLIANT.
  • DMA Choice is a service offered by the Direct Marketing Association. It allows you to manage what kind of junk mail you receive.
  • OutOutPreScreen is the official opt-out site for the consumer credit reporting industry. You can opt-out online to stop receiving mail from credit cards and insurance companies for five years, or print out and mail in the opt-out election form to have the mail stop permanently. You can also call 1-800-5-OPTOUT 
  • Catalog Choice offers a product that will block large data brokers from selling your contact information.
  • 41 Pounds is a paid service that contacts marketing companies on your behalf to remove you from major mailing lists.
  • The Native Forest Network has a great list of other resources for getting your name off of junk mailing lists.

PaperKarma eco mobile app screen shot
The PaperKarma App tracks all of your opt-out requests.

You Mailbox Needn't Be Empty!

Everyone loves getting mail. The advent of email and paperless billing is making your mailbox pretty obscolete. If you don't want to open an empty mailbox every day, here's a way to get something awesome in the mail that ISNT junk. Subscribe to the Paris Letters by my friend Janice. You'll receive beautifully illustrated letters from her about life and love in Paris. I'm pretty sure these will never make their way into a landfill!