A word to the treehuggers out there: Junk mail is the result of more than FOUR MILLION TONS of paper waste each year. What’s more, it costs $320 million of taxpayers’ money to dispose of that unsolicited mail each year (Source: Gorgeously Green)!
Now, surely there is a better way to put our money to use, don’t-chya think?
Check out these sites for information on how to stop wasting paper à la junk mail. A few simple steps really can make the Earth a better place, and help you to stop getting so dang excited when you think you have received mail of the good kind — come on, you know you do :
- JunkBusters — This site provides you with example letters that you may print out and send to direct marketers to tell them to not send you junk.
- Exuberance — A post on this site links you to the Direct Marketing Association which requires you to fill out a form and pay a dollar to get your name off junk mail lists — It’s well worth a buck, if you ask, me.
- GreenDimes — A cool site that pays you a dollar to stop junk mail from coming to you home. You can have your dollar sent to you in the mail, or you can use it to plant a tree or receive a free issue of a green living magazine. GreenDimes has you enter your address information, and then choose which catalogs and other mail you would like to stop receiving. The service is free and, in case you really want to go all out, there are a few options to choose from that involve a bit of moolah. I went with the basic (’cause I don’t have much moolah to mess around with) and got rid of the 80 hundred catalogs I receive from Victoria’s Secret every week (the green effort was clearly lost on this company) and a bunch of other mail that I think I need, but really do not. It felt good to purge!
A few other key points:
1.) If you are not a computer guy or gal, you can send a postcard to the Direct Marketing Association and it will stop most national mailings from coming to your house. The address is: P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512.
2.) You can also give credit card offers the ol’ heave ho by calling 1-888-567-8688 and an automated system will take you off all major credit card bureaus for five years. YAY! Like I always say, if I want a credit card, I’ll let you know!!!!
3.) Got a bit of time? Call your bank and credit card companies and tell them not to release your information (name, address, social security number, email, etc.) for marketing or promotional purposes. The federal privacy law says that they have to honor your request.
Whether you choose to make a couple changes or several at a time is really up to you. The point is that you are making a difference — and that is what really matters in making this Earth livable for years to come. So, go on with your bad self and stop all that excess mail! You don’t need most of that stuff anyway, right?!
→ Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 6,593 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 587 pounds of air pollution, 3.06 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,077 kilowatt hours of energy.
(Source for all statistics: Gorgeously Green)