Every time I open my mailbox, it’s sitting there. Annoying—and screaming for attention: “Limited time only! HUGE SALE THIS WEEKEND! Isn’t it about time you signed up for a new credit card? Wouldn’t you like an extra-large pizza for only $9.99??”
While that all sounds great, I have a hard time getting excited about junk mail. Every once in a while, there might be a coupon I’ll actually use, but for the most part it’s a nuisance that goes straight into the trash. But that’s a big problem—more than 100 million trees are cut down to generate more than 62 billion pieces of junk mail every year, and more than half of it ends up in landfills!
Thankfully, there are several ways to save yourself and the environment from the flood of junk mail inundating your mailbox:
You can set up a free account with Catalog Choice to opt out of receiving unwanted mailings like coupons, credit card offers, and circulars.
DMAchoice, a service actually run by direct-mail companies, also allows you to manage the kinds of mailings you receive.
Finally, you can pay a one-time membership fee to Stop the Junk Mail and reduce the amount of junk mail you receive by up to 90 percent! They’ll even plant a tree for every new member through American Forests.
And remember, it might take a few weeks for you to notice a drop-off in the amount of junk mail you receive, so be patient.
While you’re at it, think about ditching your phone book delivery service, too. I can’t even remember the last time I opened up the yellow pages since it’s so easy to look up phone numbers and addresses online. Visit yellowpagesoptout.com to take your name off the list, and be sure to recycle the phonebooks you already have lying around at home.
Have you successfully cancelled junk mail or phonebook deliveries? Let us know by commenting below, or by e-mailing email@example.com. DING! You are now free to be green!