Mailbox Makeover

Banish Unwanted Catalogs




The holidays have come and gone and a new year is here, heralded by a mailbox still engorged with resource-wasting, old and new catalog clutter. Altogether, some 20 billion catalogs are mailed annually, to the frustration of Earth-conscious shoppers. According to the nonprofit ForestEthics, the average American will spend the equivalent of eight months of their life dealing with junk mail. We all can save valuable time, conserve America’s forests, ease up on overflowing landfills, and reduce fuel and other materials wasted on unwanted catalogs by following these simple tips.

1. Ditch duplicate mailings. If you receive multiples of a catalog you like, call and ask the company to remove the extra listing.

2. Delete your address. The Direct Marketing Association (dmaChoice.org) will add your name to a “delete” list for direct marketers through its Mail Preference Service. It’s free online, or $1 by mail.

3. Sign up with a service. Options available for a modest fee include CatalogChoice.org, StopTheJunkMail.com and 41Pounds.org.

4. Switch to email. Most retailers can email promotion and sale notifications, with links to their websites and digital catalogs.

5. Recycle catalogs after browsing. If the local recycling program doesn’t accept them, search Earth911.org by Zip code to find the nearest facility that does.

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