Older people are supposed to be wise and the teachers of the next generation, but often the opposite is true. This week I learned from my niece—the one with the cool tatoos and the hippest, greenest coffee shop in the Western hemisphere—how to get rid of direct marketing mail.
If you don’t know what direct mail is, check your recycle bin. It’s what accounts for 2/3 of your bin. The more common name for it is junk mail.
Not only is direct mail annoying to receive, it’s incredibly wasteful. Here are some facts regarding junk mail from ecofuture.org:
– The majority of household waste consists of unsolicited mail.
– 100 million trees are ground up each year for unsolicited mail.
– It wastes 28 billion gallons of water for paper processing each year.
– More than half of unsolicited mail is discarded unread or unopened; the response rate is less than 2%.
– The result is more than 4 million tons of paper waste each year.
– It is difficult to recycle, as the inks have high concentrations of heavy metals.
– $320 million of local taxes are used to dispose of unsolicited mail each year.
– It costs $550 million yearly to transport junk mail.
– Scarce landfill space disfigures rural areas and pollutes ground water.
– We each get about 40 pounds of junk mail a year, more than a tree’s worth per family!
Not exactly green living.
Anyway, we were sitting around enjoying Chinese food on the back porch and—I don’t know how we got on the topic—my niece tells us that she was able to almost completely stop her junk mail by going online and filling out a form with checkmarks for what she did not want to receive.
So after the crowds dispersed, I went online and found the form and filled it out. Three times. Once for each of my names, and once for my sister’s name. The remarkable thing is, the company that has this “stop direct mail” form online is a direct marketing company. I most likely would not have bothered filling out the form, except that my credible niece says it works.
So, please contribute to green living by stopping the wasteful direct mail that comes to your house! Go to Direct Mail and fill out the form as many times as needed. WARNING: before filling out this form, set up a separate email address (go to Google for free email accounts) and use this email in the form you submit, or else you might be setting yourself up to receive endless junk emails!
Ecofuture has a whole list of other ways you can stop junk mail delivery.
And THANK YOU!
Awesome advice. What’s worse is when the junk mail crowds our mailbox so much that our letters get lost in it and mangled when the mailperson shoves it all in the mailbox. Definitely signing up for this. Thanks for the tips!
Thanks for the tips Marty!
I’m going to sign-up right now. Nothing makes me more mad than receiving piles of junk mail that we have to figure out a way to get rid of. All my billing is online so that I don’t receive trash in the mail.
Here we go to save the world! Thanks for joining!