After a particularly bad junk mail day last week I decided I had had enough. It was time to take back my mailbox from the unscrupulous marketers. It would not be so bad if it were just a couple things a week but I estimate we get 50 pieces of junk mail a week! Here is what I am doing:
- Converted as many bills as possible to online payments. Most companies will stop sending you a paper bill if you are on automatic withdrawals. The only bill I actually have to still open is the water bill. At least I can pay it with a credit card! Everything else is on cruise control.
- Went “paperless” with all my account statements that offer it. Last week I found a few more of my accounts that do!
- Opted out of all credit card offers for all family members:
- Signed up for the Direct Marketing Association’s DMAChoice to opt out of all member marketing: http://www.dmachoice.org
- Signed up for an account at ProQuo and walked through all the steps to opt out.
- For companies not covered by the above, I started contacting them directly to be removed.
- If the junk mail has a postage paid business reply envelope I mail the offer back with “Remove From List” written in big black letters! If they are going to send me junk at least make them pay for it!
- I just found this tip which might eliminate the need for #7:From: http://www.obviously.com/junkmail/
First class mail: Cross out the address and bar code, circle the first class postage and write “refused: return to sender”. Drop in any mail box, it will be returned to the sender.
Bulk mail: The post office throws away bulk mail it can’t deliver, so returning it does no good. Bulk mail is the hardest to deal with because the USPS actively provides addresses, support and encouragement to mailers. However, if “address correction requested” is written on the label: circle “address correction requested” and treat like first class mail.
Hopefully these steps will have an impact. In addition to the environmental benefits, doing this will also help your finances. If you don’t get the shiny new catalogs you won’t be tempted to buy anything!