Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday's 3Rs - an onslaught of junk mail

Today we're going to focus on Reducing -- as in reducing the amount of junk mail, catalogs and phone books we receive.

I came across this handy dandy website that makes this chore so much easier. It's called Catalog Choice and with a little bit of effort, you can easily eliminate much of the junk mail that is cluttering your mailbox, your home and your life!

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, most of us will be inundated with catalogs and flyers from retailers both known, and unknown, to us. As a community, let's all do our part to put an end to this nonsense!

In addition to filling out forms at Catalog Choice, another thing you can do is call the toll free number listed on every catalog you receive and request to be taken off their mailing list. Also, make sure to tell them you do not want your contact info given out. Perhaps they won't honor your wishes, but it is important to let them know anyway.

I just spent about a half an hour taking my name and address off a bunch of lists. The result should be a reduction in the amount of mail as October, November and December descend upon us and merchants chomp eagerly at the bit to sell me more stuff I don't need.

Here are some other helpful ways to eliminate junk mail:
  • Stop Valpak from sending you those blue envelopes generally full of useless coupons
  • Register with DMA Choice, an online tool that helps you manage your mail.
  • Call Publisher's Clearinghouse -- 1-800-645-9242 -- and ask them to take you off their list
  • Place a sign on your mailbox that says, "No Free Papers"
  • Write "Return to Sender" on mail that comes for former residents (I know, most of you now have the song stuck in your head, don't you?)
  • If you fill out your name and address for surveys, raffles, etc., add "You do not have my permission to share this information with anyone." Many surveys are just phishing ploys. The names and addresses are gathered and sold. One way you can determine if someone has done this is to change your name somehow when you fill out the form. Add a different middle initial or spell your first name differently. If you start getting junk mail addressed that way, you'll know the source.
  • Check out companies' websites -- many have an opt-out feature where you can submit a simple online form.
Reducing is just as important as recycling. If we all do our part, can you imagine the difference we can make?!

Sharing tips with you for a better tomorrow,


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