Stop 5 Types of Junk Mail

Posted by: Kaity Baril on January 8, 2020

What’s the deal with all of this junk mail?

When I come home from work, I run to the mailbox to check for heartwarming snail mail. What do I find? I see two penny-savers, an unwanted magazine from the grocery store, a newspaper from a retail store I’ve never been to, and an amalgam of junk. Almost every household in the United States faces overflowing unsolicited mail.

So, why would we want to stop unsolicited mail, also known as Direct Mail Advertising (DMA), in its tracks? According to the Product Stewardship Institute, “Over 100 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered in the United States every year. Each year, junk mail uses an estimated 111 million trees and enough water to fill 160,000 Olympic swimming pools, all while producing as much CO2 as 2.3 million cars. In addition, disposing and recycling unsolicited mail costs governments and taxpayers over a quarter of a billion dollars annually.”

JunkMailFlying

(Pictured: Junk Mail Flying in the Sky, PSI)

There are plenty of ways to cut down the amount of unwanted mail you receive. The steps below are easy and can help stop unwanted mail, as well as conserve resources.

How to Stop 5 Types of Junk Mail

You can halt unnecessary mail with the free services listed below by type of unwanted mail.

  1. Credit card and insurance offers: Use the Opt Out Prescreen system. You can opt out online for five years or print out a form that you mail in to opt out permanently.
  2. Catalogs: Send an email to [email protected], a parent company of the publisher Abacus. Put “remove” in the subject line and your name and address in the body of the email. Be sure to include your name as it appears on the bulk mail you receive.
  3. Charity solicitations: Include a note requesting the charity does not rent, sell, or trade your information. We recommend you tell them you would like to go paperless.
  4. Contests: Fill out an online form through Publishers Clearing House. Write an email to Reader’s Digest, addressed to [email protected].
  5. Coupons: Email Money Mailer at [email protected] with your name, number, and a note saying you’d like to no longer receive their listing. You can fill out online forms for RedPlum and ValuPak.

Finally, if you would like to opt out of multiple junk mail sources at once, you can go to DMAChoice. The service costs $2 and lasts for up to ten years, and you can opt out of receiving catalogs, credit offers, magazine offers, charity solicitations, bank, and retail mailings.

Where does it come from?

Among the many opting out sources, there is plenty of information about the origins of this type of mail. To learn more about where your undesirable mail comes from, check out this video provided by The Story of Stuff.

Step by small step, we can advocate for producers to stop making items we do not need or want, and we can go paperless in the modern world.