The minute we stop getting junk mail, we pump more oxygen into our atmosphere. While some junk mail is made from recycled material, a substantial percentage of junk mail is made of paper that will almost always be discarded as soon as the mail reaches its target: you. Unwanted mail consumes live trees for no reason. Our atmosphere suffers.
Our daily deluge of unwanted advertising wastes a tree and a half per household every year. Each of the 100 million trees we waste means one less tree to filter carbon dioxide from the air, and one less to synthesize essential oxygen.
Recycling paper spam helps, but reuse is a stopgap measure. Better that we take stronger stands, and do everything we can to be removed from mailing lists and thereby stop unwanted mail at its source, before the paper needs to be made.
Join The Campaign and Stop Getting Junk Mail
Want in on the “Breath Easy: Stop Getting Junk Mail” campaign? It’s simple. Make a pledge to end junk mail in your life. Just say “no” to paper spam. If you’re serious about stopping junk mail, then here’s how to get started.
Cover your tracks: to stop junk mail, you must plug the information leaks.
How often have you wondered, “How did they get my name”? We unthinkingly give it away, and often throw it out. Before you load your recycling bins, be sure to expurgate your name and all numbers tied to you. Black Sharpies work wonders. Highly confidential documents have to be shredded after they have been blacked out. Take no chances. Every time your name and address is left for someone to see, someone compiling a mailing list just might catch a glimpse. Cut his information supply, and you stand a better chance to stop getting junk mail.
Let marketers know your “preference” is no junk mail.
Contact the DMA: the Direct Mail Marketing Association administers the Mail Preference Service (MPS). The MPS makes sure you are part of any “remove from mailing list” campaigns, but they will not lift a finger until you ask them to. Give them their marching orders.
Stop junk mail at the source—before it gets to your door.
Target the source: call and write those who send you paper spam and catalogs from which you will never make a purchase. Make it clear that you are opting out of all future mailings. You have no need to be nasty; companies are required to delete your name upon request. Be persistent if you continue to receive unwanted mailings.
Hire professionals to spread the word and end junk mail: go to 41pounds.org. For a nominal fee, this non-profit group will notify dozens of companies that you wish to stop getting junk mail.
Don’t talk to strangers: your mom was right. Telemarketers are strangers out to kidnap your confidential information. Do not let them hoodwink you into confirming your social, bank account, or credit card numbers “for their records” or to complete a transaction that you did not initiate.
As a rule of thumb, we have to be vigilant against inadvertent information leaks if we want to stop getting junk mail. Think of how often we are asked to fill out applications; every time we write or type our name and address, it represents a potential information leak. Surely, quickly, you will be receiving unwanted mail.
If you’ve taken the steps above to stop getting junk mail, let us know! Leave a comment and tell us how long it has been since you’ve received any junk in your mail. Do you even get mail anymore? For me, it turns out most of my mail was unsolicited and now I may go weeks without a letter.