Cut Junk Mail, Catalogs and Save Trees, Energy
According to Harvard University, each year, more than 100 million trees’ worth of bulk mail arrive in American mailboxes—the equivalent of deforesting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every four months! The production and disposal of direct mail consumes more energy than 3 million cars.
One easy way to save trees and energy is by removing your address from mailing lists and preventing unsolicited mail from coming your way.
Cut the Credit Card Offers
The main consumer credit reporting agencies—TransUnion, Experian and Equifax—maintain mailing lists that are often used by credit card and insurance companies to send junk mail. However, you can call a single number or visit a website to remove your name and address from mailing lists circulated by all three agencies as well as that of a fourth company, Innovis.
The number, 888-5-OPTOUT (888-567-8688), connects you to a recorded message and works 24 hours a day. Visit the website at optoutprescreen.com. The phone message and website prompt you to give your full name, address, telephone number and social security number—it’s a legitimate service, recommended by the Federal Trade Commission. You can opt out of these offers for five years online, or you can mail in a form to opt out permanently.
Stop Catalogs, Reduce Junk Mail
DMAChoice.org lets you remove your name and address from a number of catalog lists. After registering an account and paying a $2 processing fee, you can unsubscribe from entire categories of mail—including catalogs and advertisements—or unsubscribe from specific catalogs. Register online at DMAChoice.org to remove your name from catalog and national mailing lists.
Catalogchoice.org is a free alternative but only allows you to unsubscribe from catalogs one at a time. This won’t unsubscribe you from catalogs from businesses with whom you’ve been a customer—only ones where you’re a “prospect.” If you have a prior purchase history with a company, visit their website to unsubscribe from their catalog manually.
For junk mail, Catalogchoice.org offers two options: a free service that sends opt-out requests for individual companies that are already marketing to you, and a premium “unlisting” service that, for an annual donation of $20 or more, removes your name from data brokers who sell your contact information to marketers.
Prevent Marketers from Passing Your Name Around
Any time you order a product by mail, enter a contest, subscribe to a magazine, send in a warranty card or otherwise give your name and address to a company or organization, you may be placed on a mailing list. The company or organization may then rent, sell or trade the list with your name on it. To limit your exposure, write “Please do not rent or sell my name” or “No mailing lists” next to your name. Also consider not sending in the warranty card for a new product—it’s usually not required.
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