9 Ways to Junk Your Junk Mail

Use these nine tips to help save some of the 100 million trees chopped down annually to produce junk mail in the United States:

  1. Register your name with the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service. After you do this, the DMA will add you to its "Do Not Mail" database.
  1. If you do business with a company via mail services, it will put you on its contact list. So the first time you make a transaction (such as placing an order) with that company, ask to be put on its "in-house suppress" or "do not promote" lists. Tell the company not to "rent" or share your name with other companies.
  1. To stop junk mail from credit card, mortgage, and insurance companies, try going to OptOutPreScreen.com which allows you to remove your name from lists generated by the four major credit bureaus-- Equifax, Innovis, TransUnion, and Experian.
  1. Get the Stop the Junk Mail Kit from the Consumer Research Institute. This kit comes with pre-addressed postcards for you to send to companies that send you those annoying catalogs, wasteful postcards, and unnecessary brochures.
  1. Several subscription services will reduce your junk mail for you. You can pay a fee to join Stop the Junk Mail which offers an online service to reduce junk mail. Also, check out GreenDimes - for a dime a day, this service will reduce your junk mail and plant a tree in your name every month.
  1. If you're fed up with other types of junk (faxes, email, phone calls, etc.), take a look at JunkBusters.com.
  1. Try calling the phone number listed under the publisher details on the junk mail. Often if you call or email, the company will remove you from the mailing list for a publication.
  1. If you've done everything above and there's still a trickle of junk still getting through, try one of these "Return to Waster" stamps, stamp the junk, and put it into a mailbox. Unless the marketer paid for first-class mail, the the junk isn't likely to make it back to the company; stamping the junk is more of an act of protest. The more people who do it, however, the more attention the issue will get.
  1. And if, after all that, a few pieces of junk mail get through, try upcycling. Turn your junk mail into pieces of art, bookmarks, packing materials, envelopes, and more.