How to stop snail mail from clogging your mailbox and the landfills.
Did you know that you can stop mailings that you don’t want?
Yep, I am talking about all the spam and unwanted promotional offers that fill up your mailbox.
Not only is junk mail super annoying, but it is also bad for the environment.
51 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by junk mail each year.
And the worst part?
44% of all that spam mail goes to the landfill unopened.
I will tell you how you can stop mailings and ditch junk mail for good.
Why So Much Unsolicited Mail?
Hundreds of millions of pieces of junk mail are sent through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) every year.
None of them solicited.
This bulk mail is unwanted and annoying to get.
Companies send credit card offers, insurance offers, catalogs, flyers, coupons, phone books, and anything else you didn’t ask for to get your attention.
This junk mail is trying to find consumers for their goods.
But this is bad for the forests and the health of the environment.
Well, you don’t have to sit by and participate in this polluting, wasteful and harmful practice.
Below is your guide to stop mailings to help make a positive change for the environment.
Junk Mail And The Impact On The Environment
Bulk mail has an ecological impact and not good for creating a sustainable planet.
Here are some ways junk mail is bad for the environment:
- 5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct mail advertisements end up in landfills every year.
- 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened, but only half that much junk mail is recycled.
- The average American household receives 848 pieces of junk mail, which equals 1.5 trees every year and more than 100 million trees for all U.S. households combined. That’s the equivalent of deforesting all of Rocky Mountain National Park every four months. OMG!!!
- Largely due to deforestation, junk mail manufacturing creates as much greenhouse gas emissions annually as 3.7 million cars.
How To Stop Junk Mail From Being Delivered
Americans will spend 8 months of their life dealing with junk mail!
What a complete waste of time.
Living a greener and eco-friendly lifestyle, reducing consumption and waste is top on your list. Ending junk mail is a great place to start.
Spam mail is unnecessary and it doesn’t take much effort to stop it.
Here are 8 ways you can ditch unwanted mail for good:
1. Make A Call
If you get any mail that you don’t want to receive and you don’t know how to get off their list, just pick up the phone and make a call.
Ask to be removed from their mailing list.
It can time-consuming but if you get snail mail you don’t want it is well worth it.
Try the below options to avoid having to make phone calls every time you open your mailbox.
You can reduce the volume of credit offers, catalogs, magazine offers, donation requests, retail promotions, bank offers, and many other things.
You cannot stop bills, statements, notices, and political mailings, although many companies will allow you to switch to paperless billing and statements.
2. Stop Mailings And Register For Do Not Mail List
You can get your name removed from direct mailings and junk mail from ever being delivered to your mailbox.
Be aware, it can take several weeks for all of the opt-ins to take effect so just make sure to recycle any unwanted mail until the mailings stop.
For direct mail: https://www.directmail.com/mail_preference/
Yellow Pages: https://www.yellowpagesoptout.com/
U.S. data and marketing association: https://dmachoice.thedma.org/
The program costs $2 but will block unwanted DMA mail for 10 years. It also offers registration for DMA’s eMail Preference Service, which reduces unsolicited commercial email.
3. Stop “prospect” Catalogs and Smaller Marketers
There are smaller direct marketers that deliver coupons and ads. You can stop all those mailings as well.
Retail Me Not (RedPlum publications): www.retailmenot.com/everyday/unsubscribe
If you receive junk mail from companies you’ve never bought anything from, you are known as a “prospect”. Your name is on a list that is sold or rented to companies trying to find new customers.
If you have purchased from that company in the past, you are considered a customer. You may want to keep getting their catalogs or discount coupons, but if you don’t, ask to be removed from their mailing list.
To pick and choose the snail mail you want to receive, go to Catalogchoice.org.
4. Opt-out Of Credit and Insurance Offers
If you want a credit card, it’s pretty easy to get online and sign up for one.
I usually know exactly what I am looking for when looking for a new credit card so I don’t need all the prescreened offers of credit and insurance.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), you can opt-out for five years of forever.
To opt-out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-567-8688 or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.
To opt-out permanently: You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at www.optoutprescreen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request.
When you call or visit the website, you’ll be asked to provide some personal information, including your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. The information you provide is confidential and will be used only to process your request to opt-out.
You will need to mail Opt-Out form to:
PO Box 530201
Atlanta, GA 30353
5. Use An App
Sometimes opting out doesn’t go through. It can take weeks and even months for junk mail to go through.
In the meantime, you can use an app, PaperKarma.
It is an app that lets you take a photo of any unwanted mailings with your smartphone and then attempts to do all the unsubscribe work for you.
6. Stop Major Sweepstakes Mailings
No one wants major sweepstakes mailers, right?
I know I don’t.
To opt-out contact Publishers Clearing House online, all you need to do it fill out an easy online form https://pch.custhelp.com/app/ask_mailing.
Or you can opt-out by mail:
Consumer & Privacy Affairs
Publishers Clearing House
300 Jericho Quadrangle #300
Jericho, NY 11753
7. Stop Requests for Donations From Charities
If you contribute to a charitable organization, ask them to send you only one donation request per year.
The American Institute on Philanthropy offers several tips on reducing junk mail and phone solicitations from charities at https://www.charitywatch.org/charitywatch-articles/seven-tips-for-reducing-unwanted-mail-and-phone-appeals/43
8. Refuse Delivery of Promo Mailings
If you ever get mailings for promo products you don’t want to look for any of the following phrases:
- return service requested
- forwarding service requested
- address service requested
- change service requested
If you find any of these phrases, write these on the unopened envelope:
- returned to sender
Mail sent to “Resident,” “Current Resident,” or “Current Occupant” can be refused if it contains one of the above endorsements, or is sent First Class.
When you receive unsolicited promo products, you can mark the envelope “Return to Sender” and put it back in the mail.
Conclusion On How To Stop Mailings For Good
Pick up the phone, refuse to accept junk mail, and hop online and fill out the forms to stop mailings from filling up your mailbox.
You can say goodbye to junk mail for good with a few clicks of a button.
Save the forests, reduce your carbon footprint, and stop unwanted waste.
Even small changes can make a big difference.
One small thing has an enormous impact when multiplied by millions of people.
Stop mailings from being delivered is an easy way to help reduce your carbon footprint.
Did you fill out the forms to stop junk mail? Share in the comments any tips you have for ditching junk mail for good.