Journal

Stop junk mail

How to stop junk mail...for good

And make your Mail Great Again

The average US household receives 6 pieces of junk mail everyday! No matter if we move, flee the country or never order anything from these companies, they keep that river of junk mail flowing. So below we've compiled the 6 steps you need to eliminate this wasteful annoyance, once and for all.

Some quick facts to compound how utterly useless this industry is. It's estimated that the production, distribution, and disposal of all that junk mail creates more than 51 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually, equal to the emissions equivalent of more than 9.3 million cars.

The postal advertising industry measures a mass mailing to be successful if just 2 percent of envelopes or catalogs generate a sale. That means 98 percent of the paper and ink was a pointless waste! This in the end totals over ONE BILLION pounds of waste that ends up in landfills every year. Which must make it one of the most wasteful, pointless and polluting industries on the planet.

US merchants pay upward of $30 billion a year to produce and distribute junk mailings, and less than half of it even gets opened. Imagine if you took all that money and actually put it into effective, targeted, intelligent, creative marketing that actually worked, then donated the rest to reforestation, recycling or education. We can dream but these dummies will keep on going, that's why we all need to cut them off at the source, see below the 6 steps to do so.

 

Infographic by Lauren Wade

 

6 Steps to get off mailing lists and STOP Junk Mail

1) Cut it off at the source

One of the big places to start is the DMA (Data & Marketing Association). They represent 3600 companies around the world who are sending you junk mail.

You can go on their site, pay $2 for a ten year period and remove your name from thousands of mailing lists here at DMA CHOICE. It can take up to 90 days for the flow to stop since many mailings are already in print or production.

2) Credit Card Solicitations

At some point in time we've all either filled out a warranty card, bought a new home or vehicle, supplied your credit information to a 3rd party, or owned or own a credit card. With any of these things, your name and address will be circulated to a whole host of credit card companies looking to sign you up.

To eliminate credit card promotional mailings, you can call 1-888-567-8688 or visit their website. You can choose either a five-year removal or a permanent removal. With your personal credit cards, contact the issuer and tell them to ONLY put you  on their "in house" list and confirm it is not sold to third parties or any outside source. 

3) No more Phone Books (why do these even still exist?) or Catalogs

Go online to opt out of Dex. You can also contact any catalogue you receive and tell them you want to OPT OUT, I know it's a pain in the ass, but these things will keep on coming unless you tell them to stop. 

4) Those Trashy Junk Promo Products

Now this one requires some dedication. Look on the mailing for any of the following phrases: 'return service requested', 'forwarding service requested', 'address service requested', or 'change service requested'. If you find any of these phrases, write 'REFUSED, RETURN TO SENDER' on the unopened envelope and leave it in your mailbox for the mailman to pick up and the USPS will send it back to the Junk company.

When you receive those other mailers that say addressed to 'Resident', 'Current Resident', 'Current Occupant' and is sent First Class it can be refused. Again, mark the envelope 'REFUSED, RETURN TO SENDER' and put it back in your mailbox.

5) Remove yourself from ALL Direct Marketers lists

There are several smaller list brokers and direct marketing firms in the U.S. besides the DMA. Here are two of the main ones, the links will take you to the opt out pages, or if you want to mail it in, just send a letter with your address on and request them to 'remove you from all and every list you are on for direct marketing and mailers immediately'.

Valpak 
1 Valpak Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
1-727-399-3000

www.valpak.com/coupons/show/mailinglistsuppression

Valassis Direct Mail, Inc. 
Consumer Assistance
PO Box 249
Windsor , CT 06095
1-800-437-0479, between 8:30 and 5:00 EST
Unsubscribe from their RedPlum publication here: 

www.redplum.com/tools/redplum-postal-addremove.html

6) The Final Bullet

There's one more resource (www.catalogchoice.org) to search for those catalogs that come to your address and that you no longer want. You have the option to either opt out entirely or reduce their frequency. You'll need to enter the customer number or key source code from a copy of the catalogue or mailer, you can normally find that near your address or on the cover somewhere. Each company has different ones so you'll have to go through them and input them on the opt out pages individually.

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This takes a little time to do but it's worth it in the end when you have a clean mailbox with just the letters you are meant to receive and none of this useless crap that we never open, well 98 percent of us don't. Plus you're starting to help change the cycle and end the consumption of all that energy, natural resources and manpower.
In future years we'll look back and think what the hell were these people thinking and doing using such an ineffective, polluting, wasteful, useless practice. Act now and make your mail great again.