Monday, October 24, 2011

How to Reduce Junk Mail

If you're like any of us at EVOLUTIONMAN, we dread checking our mailboxes. It's an endless pile of unsolicited paper that just ends up in the garbage can. Nearly half of the four million tons of paper junk mail is never even opened! Simply recycling our unwanted mail isn't enough to save the environment. Not only will mail keep coming from the same senders, but the toll on the environment adds up. Companies expend valuable resources such as ink, virgin paper from freshly cut trees, and energy used to produce the mailers. Additionally, the paper has to be delivered AND recycled once your hands toss it into the blue bin. Stopping the endless trail of unwanted paper mail is easy, but it does take a few moments of your time.

Stop junk mail before it starts. 
Whenever you complete a business transaction involving your mailing address - setting up a bank account, donating to a charity, or even subscribing to magazines - your information is most likely sold to a third party company. Stop junk mail before it even starts. Any online credit card or bank account has options to prevent your information from being shared. Additionally, you can "opt out" of communications from your banks and credit card companies. By opting out of American Express communications, we stopped receiving an average of 15 mailers per month. Magazines solicitations can also be stopped, but you most likely will need to email the magazine or call their subscription hotline. It is kind of satisying not to receive magazine subscription offers anymore!

Give your mailbox a makeover with DMA.
The Direct Marketing Association is an organization that helps you manage the junk mail you receive. They work with marketers (the people mailing you!) to manage their mailing lists. By filling out your information at, you will stop junk mail from these markets at your address for up to five years.

Don't be bogged down by credit card offers.
One telephone number stops credit card companies from clogging your mailbox with offers you don't want. 1-888-567-8688 or stops Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian from selling your information to credit card agencies, stopping offers for up to five years. We received about ten offers per month from various companies, now we receive none!

Adios, catalogs.
While these are tempting for bathroom reading, these are the worst for the environment to land on your doorsteps. Most catalogs have instructions for opting out printed right on the label. If there is no website, call the toll free number listed on the catalog and give them your mailing address exactly as it appears on the label. While we miss our CB2 catalog, we don't miss the other ones selling us junk we don't want or need.

Bulk mail is bothersome.
Unfortunately, writing return to sender does little for the post office, especially if it's written on bulk mail. Our business does not need to receive grocery store fliers, and we weren't sure what to do. Did you know that you could opt out of RedPlum, PennysaverUSA, and local publications by calling their toll free number or visiting their website?

Just by following a few of the simple steps above, we've made our EVMAN and personal mailboxes a little less stressful, and we only receive mail we want to. While this list may seem time-consuming and overwhelming, it isn't so bad. It takes about three minutes each day to opt out of the junk mail you receive, and, pretty soon, will take you zero minutes as junk mail comes to a halt.

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