Is your mailbox being flooded with unwanted and unsolicited mail, advertisements and other offerings? If it is, you are not alone. This is a problem that affects majority of American households. It can make a big difference if you will make an effort to stop receiving these junk mails.
Stopping or reducing the amount of junk mail you receive can have a significant environmental effect. You may want to check the following US statistics based on information obtained from the Center for New American Dream (CNAD):
- 5.6 million tons – the amount of junk mail composed of catalogs and advertisements that end up in landfills annually
- More than 100 million trees – the number of trees cut annually to produce junk mail for an average American household
- 44 percent – junk mail that are thrown to the trash unopened
- 22 percent – amount of junk mail that are recycled
- $370 million – amount of money that Americans spend annually to dispose of junk mail
These statistics show the alarming impact of junk mail to our environment. Stopping them could mean saving our natural resources, energy and landfill space. That is aside from the personal time you could save by not reading those unnecessary mails. Here is how to stop both addressed and unaddressed junk mails:
Addressed Junk Mails
1. Register your name with the Direct Marketing Association.
Visit DMA website and register with their Mail Preference Service. DMA will then list you under the “Do Not Mail” category. Most companies that send bulk mail to consumers check with their website for people who don’t want to receive unsolicited mails. It may take a while before it will go into effect.
In addition, you could also register with Catalog Choice which is a non-profit organization that has already helped more than one million Americans from receiving 19 million junk mails. They streamline the opt-out process so you will not have to contact the sender companies yourself. And their service is totally free.
2. Remove your name from mail lists.
OptOutScreen.com is a centralized website run by four of the major credit card companies in the US, namely Experian, Equifax, TransUnion and Innovis. By removing your name from their mail list, you can stop receiving mails from credit cards, mortgage and insurance companies. Moreover, credit bureaus are required by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act to remove your name from their mailing list once you make the request.
3. Contact the sender company.
Even after doing the first two steps, some companies may still send you mails. If you are serious about getting rid of all your junk mails, you could directly contact these companies and request to place your name in their “in-house suppress” or “do not promote” list. Also, if you are transacting with a certain company for the first time, request them not to rent your name so that they will not sell your personal information to other companies.
4. Use different names to track the source of junk mails.
If you like to know where companies get your mailing details, use different names every time you make mail subscriptions. For instance, if your name is Tina Lopez and you want to subscribe to Vanity Fair, you could use a name like Tina VF Lopez, using the initials of the magazine as your middle initials. If you receive mail from other companies aside from Vanity Fair, you will know where they got your information from. You could then request Vanity Fair to stop renting your name to others.
1. Register with Door-to-Door Opt-Out by Royal Mail.
Royal Mail sends up to 50 percent of the total unaddressed mails. If you like to stop them from sending mail to your address, you could register with their Door-to-Door Opt-Out.
2. Register with Your Choice Preference Scheme.
Your Choice Preference Scheme is another opt-out service for unaddressed mails. Registering with them will stop Direct Marketing Association members from sending advertisements and leaflets to you.
3. Put a “No Junk Mail” sticker on your mailbox.
For companies not covered by the Royal Mail and Direct Marketing Association, you can stop receiving unaddressed mails from them by simply putting a “No Junk Mail” sticker on your mailbox.
By stopping junk mail, you are doing yourself and the environment a big favor. There is no better time to do it than now.