Junk mail is not only annoying, it's expensive, too! Did you know that over the course of
your lifetime you will spend up to 8 full months perusing junk mail, half of which you'll throw
away without ever even opening? It's true. Americans reportedly pay $370 million to haul
5.6 million tons of unrecycled junk mail to US landfills each year – that's 1.5 trees for each
American household, according to the Center for a New American Dream!
With this in mind, there are a few simple things you can do to significantly reduce the sheer volume of junk mail you receive each year. While experts suggest that it's impossible to stop all commercial mail, you may be able to slow it down by up to 90% by following the tips below.
Opt−out of Pre−approved/Pre−screened Credit Offers
Visit www.optoutprescreen.com (or call 1−888−567−8688) and follow the instructions for opting out of "firm" offers from credit, insurance, and mortgage companies. These offers are the result of the major consumer credit reporting companies selling your name and contact information whenever you apply for credit.
Register for the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) Mail Preference Service
For $1, the DMA will add you to their do−not−mail file. Visit www.the−dma.org to register for this service. If you receive mail for an ex−spouse or people who no longer live with you, you can add them to the list as well. If you receive junk mail for deceased relatives, visit www.ims−dm.com/cgi/ddnc.php to remove their names.
Instruct Companies Not to Share Your Information
While completing these easy steps won't keep certain unwanted mail from filling up your mailbox – your bills, for instance – the ratio of cards and letters you do want to receive versus those you don't will change significantly in just 30−60 days.
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