Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Limit Unwanted Catalogs and Junk Mail

Are you swimming in a sea of unwanted and unrequested catalogs and junk mail, especially now, during the holidays? With just a bit of effort you can curb the flow of mail to a trickle and possibly save a tree and some petroleum in the process.

It takes a little time, but whenever I receive a catalog or solicitation I have my name removed from the mailing list by either calling the toll-free phone number (all catalogs have them) or sending an email (for charities, non-profits, etc.). For mail from banks and credit card companies, I mail them a note (using their provided postage-paid envelope) kindly requesting name and address removal.

I've been doing this for about four years and I now rarely receive unwanted mail.

Another way to limit junk mail is to ask any magazines you subscribe to or any organizations you are a member of to not share, sell or rent your name and address to other companies, a practice that is commonplace.

I can't imagine the resources wasted on these unneeded mailings; thinking about it is mind-boggling.

UPDATE (1:10 p.m.): A reader just let me know about Catalog Choice, a service that helps with the process of opting out of unwanted mail. "I've found it reliable," she wrote.

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