Spring is a time of renewal. It’s also a time when many retailers send out their new spring and summer catalogs. Not to mention all of the credit card offers from banks, sales from grocery stores, dining out coupons, and many, many more offers. Some of this mail you may want to receive and read, but a lot of it is just junk mail. And then it starts piling up around your apartment. Now is the time for some spring cleaning and for you to take back control over your mailbox.
There are several ways to reduce the clutter in your mailbox, but all of them require a little work on your part (just like cleaning). You can call, write, or email the businesses that are sending you the offending solicitations and ask to be taken off their mailing list. Most will readily comply (but you may be subjected to one final offer!).
If this sounds like too much work, there are several organizations that will help you in this process. All of these request that you collect several weeks of junk mail and sort it before you get started. This will help the process go much faster.
- DMAchoice – The Direct Marketing Association is the leading trade association for direct mailers. They developed this site as a tool to address consumers’ concerns over the amount of direct mail being sent. They can help you stop getting mail from individual companies or entire categories of companies, like credit offers.
- Catalog Choice – This group runs the TrustedID Mail Preference Service which allows you to opt out online from all of the companies in their database. They work with over 8,000 companies.
- 41pounds.org – This organization requires a small fee, but they guarantee their service for five years or they refund your money. You should see a noticeable improvement in 6-8 weeks and after 16 weeks, they say “your junk mail should be eliminated by 80-95%.”
The last organization takes its name from the fun fact that every adult receives an average of 41 pounds of junk mail each year. And they estimate that 44% of this goes straight to the landfill UNOPENED! Junk mail annually uses up to 100 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water, so this is a huge environmental impact on our planet.
Please do what you can to help. By helping yourself, you will also help the planet. Taking small steps like these support green apartment living and more sustainable lifestyle. Get started today.