In addition to unsolicited phone book deliveries, useless items of crapolla, plastic water bottles, plastic bags and Gilbert Gottfried, few things make me more . . . ahem . . . "enviro-mental" than junk mail.
While the numbers vary from source to source, it's confirmed that each year hundreds of millions of trees are cut down for unsolicited mail. Add billions of gallons of water for paper production and you've got environmental assault.
Global warming aside, I'm getting sick of sorting through piles of useless coupons, credit card offers and sweepstakes. The catalogs are the worst--can someone please tell me why I receive catalogs for Male Big & Tall, Omni Cheer, and UPCO Bird? I am neither plus-size male, nor cheerleader, nor exercise equipment enthusiast.
Fed up, I've embarked on a quest to get these hawkers off my back. Join me by following these 3 steps. It'll take you less than seven minutes (I've timed my friends and family) and you'll feel good for saving the trees.
1. Put The Kibosh On Catalogs
When you buy something from a catalog, your transaction is likely to be reported to Abacus, owned by DoubleClick Digital Advertising, who sells, rents, and whores your information to additional catalog companies and publishers.
Stop catalogs by emailing Abacus Catalog Alliance at email@example.com. Just say, "leave me alone you dirty catalog company," and don't forget to include your first, middle, and last name, current address, and if you've moved recently, your previous address. Don't worry, they won't come to your house, they just need that info to make sure you're off their "Innocent People to Infuriate" list.
2. Cease Solicitations
They may seem innocent, but common companies often sell your personal spending information to credit bureaus. Credit bureaus use the information to create lists based on consumer characteristics (i.e. income brackets, spending habits, boxer-briefs preferences) and rent them to marketers, credit card and insurance industries in search of specific demographics.
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA, 15 USC 1681) and several states' laws require credit-reporting companies to honor consumers' list-removal requests. Call 1- (888) - 5OPTOUT or (888-567-8688) and tell the credit bureaus to leave you in peace.
3. Stymie Fliers, Sweepstakes, And Obnoxious Product Offers
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), funded by marketing companies and dim-wits, is a lobbying group that collects and distributes consumer information to its members. Indirectly, they're responsible for those disheartening sweepstakes. And lets be honest, I have a better chance of marrying Prince William than winning a million dollars and a bunch of balloons from Publishers Clearing House.
The DMA is required by law to respect consumer's list-removal requests. There is, however, a $1 removal fee. Infuriating!
Register for their "do not mail me list" at the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service Site.
Follow the above three steps and within six weeks you'll see a significant decrease in junk mail; bear in mind floaters and local flyers will manage to sneak through.
If "decrease" doesn't cut it, if you aim to dismember, slay, and bury the junk mail beast, you'll have to put in more time. For watertight protection, visit Junkbusters, a virtual armory of junk mail weaponry, even the most obscure leaflets, brochures, and take-out menus can't break.
Follow Olivia Zaleski on Twitter: www.twitter.com/oliviazaleski