Reducing paper mail

Nothing feels more wasteful than getting the mail, only to immediately throw half – or more – of it away.

The last time we moved, I used CatalogChoice to opt-out of as many catalogs as I could, especially ones going to our old address! Since then, the number and variety of catalogs we get has been creeping up again, and it’s time to get back to work opting out of them.

Starting today, when I want to throw an item out immediately upon receiving it, I’m going to save it, and once a week I’ll go through the pile and add the catalogs to my CatalogChoice opt-out list. By collecting all the junk mail in one place each week, I should also be able to note progress as the pile should shrink over time!

Flyers and fundraising solicitations are tricky. It seems like those require a phone call to the organization. I’m going to start with the NWF and Tanglewood, both organizations that I’ve made donations and purchases from, but don’t need mailings. (It particularly irks me to get solicitations from environmental organizations!)

This site, DMA Choice, allows you to take your name and address off of lists that various catalog, magazine, and direct mail companies use to try to get new customers and subscribers. It only takes a minute (and $2) to remove yourself from all the lists. However, if you purchase something from a company, this won’t prevent you from getting catalogs and offers from them.

I don’t get many credit card offers, but Opt Out Pre-Screen lets you opt-out of them for 5 years (if you do it electronically) or permanently (if you do it by mail). For now, since I’m not near a printer, I went with the 5 year option.

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