Think about how much junk mail you get each year. It doesn’t take long for those credit card offers, flyers, and coupon packs to create a massive pile of environmental nightmares — and that’s just what ends up at your house.
More than four million tons of junk mail are produced each year, and half of that ends up in a landfill. Another staggering statistic? Junk mail destroys 100 million trees each year, which is like deforesting all of Rocky Mountain National Park every four months.
The good news is that it’s easy to save those trees and keep those tons of paper from rotting in a landfill. In less than 20 minutes, you can stop getting junk mail by removing your name from a few key mailing lists.
How To Stop Junk Mail From Credit Card Companies
Most of us don’t need another credit card, but you wouldn’t know it from the amount of junk mail companies send.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit bureaus are allowed to include your information on lists for creditors or insurance companies to advertise to you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t opt out.
To stop receiving pre-screened credit card applications and insurance junk mail, call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com.
The website and phone number are operated by the major credit bureaus. Contact them to take your name off their mailing list permanently, or for five years.
How To Stop Advertising Junk Mail
Coupons and flyers can be helpful for planning trips to the grocery store, but most of the time they’re useless clutter in our mailbox.
Because advertisers can get your information from so many sources, it’s not so easy to track down the culprit of your junk mail.
One of the biggest mailing lists companies use to send you junk comes from the Data & Marketing Association. Registering with www.dmachoice.org will take you off the DMA’s list and stop a lot of the advertising junk mail you receive.
ValPak and RedPlum are two other companies that send out a lot of coupons and flyers. Removing your name from their mailing lists takes less than five minutes and will also stop much of the garbage you receive.
How To Stop Catalog Junk Mail
If there’s one specific company that keeps sending unwanted catalogs, it’s always best to contact the business directly. But if it isn’t so easy to find the appropriate contact information, or you’re overwhelmed by the amount of catalogs in your mailbox, one organization is here to help.
Catalog Choice is a nonprofit with one goal: to rid the world of paper junk mail. Using this free service will contact companies on your behalf and ask them to take your name off their mailing lists.
How To Stop Sweepstakes Junk Mail
Do you know anyone who has actually won money from Publishers Clearing House or any other sweepstakes that’s landed in their mailbox? Yeah, we don’t either.
Publishers Clearing House is the biggest culprit of junk mail promising big riches from a sweepstakes, but it’s easy to opt out through their website. To remove your information from the Reader’s Digest sweepstakes, you’ll have to call (800) 310-6261 or mail a letter to Reader's Digest, PO Box 50005, Prescott, AZ 86301-5005.
How To Stop Other Types Of Junk Mail
Once you’ve unsubscribed and opted out from the major sources of junk mail, it’s time to make sure you don’t end up on any more lists. The best way to do this is to be careful about giving out your personal information.
More often than not, sweepstakes, raffles, and surveys are a way for companies to collect your name, address, and other information for marketing. The prize is probably real, but it comes at a cost of receiving junk mail indefinitely.
If you must give out your personal information, look for an option to stop the company from sharing your details with other companies. While it won’t necessarily stop you from getting more junk mail, it will limit the amount of paper waste that ends up in your mailbox.
Do you have any other tips on how to stop junk mail? Let us know by sharing them in the comments below.