photo © 2010 Rupert Ganzer | more info (via: WylioI use to be pro-paper. I felt like paper was a great renewable resource. (We can always plant more trees, right?) Eventually, I learned the truth about the harmful chemicals introduced to our environment by paper’s production process.
How much junk mail do you throw away every day? Junk mail in the U.S. accounts for one third of the world’s mail delivery—a staggering statistic that reflects how wasteful this country is. What’s even worse is that nearly half of that mail goes in the trash without ever being opened! Opting out of such deliveries is a quick, painless process that will help the environment, and lighten your trash load when you are taking it to the curb every week.
Prescreened Credit Card Offers
Opt out at www.optoutprescreen.com to no longer receive those pesky credit card offers in the mail. (Even better, your budget and Dave will thank you because you won’t be tempting yourself with debt anymore.) This service is offered by the major credit reporting agencies (yes, the same ones who are selling your information to evil corporations to lure you into the trap of MORE DEBT). It takes about twenty seconds to complete the form.
General Junk Mail
For general junk mail control, go to www.dmachoice.org which is run by the Direct Marketing Association. This covers magazine offers, catalogs, and stuff labeled to current resident. You can actually hand select by company what mail you want to opt out of, but I personally chose to opt out of everything again. (Quite possibly the only thing I look at from the pile of junk mail is the Kroger sale flyer, which you can sign up to receive in your email every week!) This process takes a little longer than the credit card opt-out process, requiring you to create an account and click on a confirmation link in your inbox before getting started. (Note: this won’t work for companies you have purchased for in the past. So if you love getting your Murray McMurray Hatchery catalog, for instance, it will keep coming if you’ve ordered from them or requested to be on their mailing list.)
Go to www.yellowpagesoptout.com to stop the stack of phone books you have laying around your house from reproducing. I can’t even remember the last time I used a phone book, what with the invention of the internet and all. The account setup process was sort of ridiculous, emailing you a computer generated password and then asking you to change it to log in. It told me the password I selected was not secure enough and suggested that I add some capital letters to make it so. Are you serious? Is someone really going to hack my Yellow Pages Opt Out account and change my phone book wishes? Come on. I found out that I could get 3 phone books in my area (which I’m sadly ashamed to say stay stacked by my mailbox until someone comes and picks them up). I could pick and choose which ones I wanted—and how many. So, if you were wanting more phone books, well, here’s your chance.
The whole process took me about 15 minutes for all three websites. The environment and my trash pickup guys will be happy I took the time to do so. (FYI: It’s a good idea to have an extra email address for when you are doing stuff like this, that way if your email address gets sold to spammers, it won’t be clogging up your primary inbox. Just a thought.)
In closing, let me remind you that letting all these catalogs and offers for JUNK enter your house is the same thing as letting in a traveling salesman. All it does is encourage consumerism. It makes you want things you don’t have and don’t need. Even catalogs you love are nothing more than something that feeds your lust for material things. (Much like window shopping, which only makes us feel discontent and compelled to spend money.)