The Secret To Getting Rid of Your Junk Mail For Good

by heather

If there is one thing that most of us have in common, it’s the fact that we hate sorting through the piles of junk mail that’s stuffed in our mailbox everyday. It’s time consuming, frustrating, and a bit sad. All those poor trees…

Well, by playing some green defense we can stop those piles of papers from getting printed and sent to us everyday. We can get off those annoying mailing lists for good; I did it, and my life is much, much simpler.

According to an article published in SmartMoney, the average American household gets 18 pieces of junk mail sent to them each week. When you multiply that for every household, every year, this adds up to 100 million fewer trees, and Co2 emissions equivalent to three million cars.

Yikes.

Cutting down on junk mail not only helps you, but it really helps save the environment. It’s a great way to go green and save yourself some green at the same time.

The reason why you can save money by cutting your junk mail is because, well, junk mail works. We get catalogs, credit card offers, insurance pitches, and so on every day. Those marketers know how to sell, and we get reeled in. We buy sweaters, landscaping services, life insurance, and better cable TV. We take out more credit cards (who can resist a 0% interest rate for six months?) and spend even more.

According to David Bach’s book Go Green, Live Rich:

The average household can save up to $1,413 per year by NOT shopping the catalogs that show up the mailbox.

That’s a lot of green.

Fortunately there are numerous ways to stop your junk mail. I’ll list several options, and you can decide the best route for you and your family.

  • The Direct Marketing Association (DMA)- The DMA charges $1 (only to verify your identity) for their service, which will take you off the mailing list for catalogs, promotional offers, coupons, and flyers.
  • OptOutPreScreen.com– This site allows you to opt-out of credit card and insurance offers. This service is free.
  • Green Dimes– Green Dimes is a combination of free and paid opt-out services. Their free service is basic, much like the DMA opt-out service, but you have to do some work on your own. Their premier service is like one-stop shopping. For a $20 fee they do all the work for you, in addition to planting five trees on your behalf. With their premier service they also make sure you stay off mailing lists in the future. Green Dimes has been featured in the New York Times and Good Morning America, so they’re legit
  • Abacus Catalog Alliance- Abacus is a database service that most catalogs use to send targeted offers to homeowners. You can request to be taken off their list by sending an email to abacusoptout@epsilon.com. Make sure you include your name and current address.

Although it takes a bit of time to register yourself on these opt-out lists, it will definitely pay off. You’ll not only save time, but you’ll also save money, and help save the environment as well.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jeanne December 16, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Hey there!
This is a very good idea that I am trying to apply in my home, but the sad thing is that none of these companies are active in Canada. I have searched through the web for a while and could not find any way to get rid of my junk mail, well, none that is that easy. I did found tips though, the best one is to send back prepaid envelopes that company send by mail, with nothing into it or a comment such as \Please take my name off your mailing list\….. Anyways, I am disappointed, but I guess I’ll do my best on my own.
PS: Sorry for the mistakes if there are some, I speak more french haha

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