Wean Your Mailbox Off The Junk Mail Diet

by Katy on June 8, 2008 · 4 comments


Remember when checking your mail was an exciting event? There might be a nice fat letter from a friend, maybe even a generous check from grandma! Instead, does this sound familiar? “Bill, bill, bill, junk, junk, junk, junk. . .” Not such an exciting event now is it?

“Forest Ethics” has a campaign against junk mail with helpful information about the effects of junk mail. Such as, “It takes more than 100 million trees to produce the amount of junk mail that arrives in American mailboxes each year!” Jeepers!

A few years back I went on the defense against the endless barrage of junk mail. As a result of my efforts, our unwanted mail is now 10% of what it once was. Some days we don’t even get any mail.

How to get drastically reduce your junk mail:

  • Opt Out: Register with the Direct Marketing Association to have your name registered as an “Opt-out.” This costs a dollar, but is well worth the money.
  • Catalogs: Call the customer service number to be removed from their mailing lists. Because the catalog companies do their printings months in advance, you may receive a few before they finally stop.
  • Credit Card Offers I: Stuff the entire contents of the credit card offers into the pre-paid return envelope. Write in obvious big block letters, “please remove me from your mailing list.” They’ll get the idea. 
  • Credit Card Offers II: You can also call 1-888-567-8688 to stop receiving “prescreened” offers of credit. You will get an automated menu (complete with super chirpy robotic voice) to walk you through a 5 year ban on credit card offers. Do this for all adult members of your household.
  • Charities: Call the customer service numbers for charitable organizations you’re not currently supporting. Ask to be removed from their mailing list. Reputable charities will be happy to solicit only those who are going to contribute. Don’t feel guilty. It saves them money to not be sending you junk mail.
  • Bills: I suppose bills are not officially under the category of junk mail, but they certainly are an unwelcome addition to the paper blizzard in your home. We have registered to pay all our bills automatically online. Not only does this decrease paper usage, but it has meant that we no longer have to worry if we’re late on a bill. Ever.

Having successfully utilized all the strategies above, we are no longer chucking tons of unwanted mail into the shredder and recycling bin. We still do receive some junk mail, but it’s a mere pittance of what it once was. 

Go ahead and try out my ideas, it’ll make your planet and mail carrier a little bit happier.

 Now take the time to write a real letter to a friend to find in their mailbox. It’ll make their day.

-Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexis Ahrens June 9, 2008 at 8:27 am

Great suggestions, Katy – thanks. You’re doing a great job here! Keep up the good work! Cheers!


Garetjax June 10, 2008 at 8:38 am

I did the one stop shopping thing and signed up with Myjunktree and they helped me stop the junk mail and even the phone books. I also was able to sign up for the do not call list to stop the telemarketers from calling. Great site.


Steve June 22, 2008 at 11:10 am

I did the same thing and signed up with myjunktree.com site. It a very easy site to use and it took no time at all stop the junk mail and all the useless catalogs and they even plant 5 trees with my memebership.


Tim August 26, 2008 at 1:56 pm

I happen to be one of the owners of MyJunkTree and as a new company I search the web to see if we are getting any visibility out there and it seems the word is getting out. Thanks for the support.

We launched the company because we were tired of all the junk mail we were receiving and we personally did not want to bounce all over the web to contact all the different companies to stop it all. First and foremost we wanted to let people choose what they wanted to let come to their home knowing that some people really do like some of the coupons and catalogs. So our clients choose what they want stopped.

We also had to provide a service that is different than the other services out there, so here is what we offer:

1. We have a database of over 1300 catalogs that you can choose to stop.
2. We have over a 2000 charities/Non-Profits that you can stop solicitations from.
3. Stop the delivery of the national phone directories.
4. Stop the delivery of the weekly coupons.
5. Stop the general credit card offers as well as the ones from your own major bank.
6. Stop the miscellaneous junk mail from the data brokers.
7. You can register on the National Do Not Call Registry from the website.
8. You can order your no strings attached free annual credit report right from the website.
9. We plant trees with every new membership.

And, yes we are a paid service and yes you can do everything that we do for free, if you want to do all the research and spend the time contacting the companies yourself it can easily be done. We have just done all of the legwork for our clients and feel there is value in the service we provide.


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