Merida

5 Ways to Stop Junk Mail and Save the World

At Merida we believe that sustainability, beautiful design and happy healthy living all go hand-in-hand as demonstrated by our natural area rugs. Being eco-friendly is also something else – convenient.

“Convenient” you say? How many tips to the garbage can have you taken in your life to toss junk mail? If you add up all the junk mail you ever received and tossed it out at once, how many trash bags would you need to carry out?

Here are some staggering figures:

  • 70 hours = the time you waste per year dealing with junk mail
  • 100 million = the number of trees destroyed yearly to produce junk mail.
  • 9 million = junk mail produces more C02 than 9 million cars
  • 41 = the number of pounds of junk mail the average person receives per year
  • 1.5 = the number of pieces of actual mail the average person gets per week
  • 10.8 = the number of pieces of junk mail the average person gets per week

If the US Postal Service delivers junk mail at a 10:1 ratio to the mail I’m sending – why does the price of a first class stamp keep rising? Shouldn’t the burden of covering the rising costs of the Postal Service rest on the junk mailers disproportionately? Wouldn’t this do more to curb the practice and save the planet than making me pay more to send my mom a birthday card?

This post isn’t about Postal Service Reform so I’ll get to the point, which is learning how to stop junk mail, helping save the planet and uncluttering your life. Here are my five tips. I’ve done 1-4 and they take 15 minutes which seems like a small price to pay for putting an end to the train wreck listed above.

1. Hang up on the Yellow Pages. Do you even use the phone book with yellow pages that get’s dumped on your doorstep? Mine goes directly from my doorstep over the railing into the recycle bin. Stop getting them forced on you on your doorstep at www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/stop-yellow-pages

2. Fire junk mail at work: How much mail do you get for employees no longer at your company? There is a database at the Ecological Mail Coalition (www.ecologicalmail.org) that solves this. By entering ex employees’ names into their database you can stop this mail. Marketers run their mailing lists through the Ecological Mail Database to remove people who won’t get their marketing materials.

3. Give yourself some credit: There is no shortage of ways to apply for credit cards or get insurance quotes so why do you need to be bombarded with offers? Stop these and other financial offers which use your credit score to pre-screen by going to www.optoutprescreen.com. To me this is also a matter of privacy!

4. Shop Where You Want: We all enjoy a nice browsing a catalog from time-to-time but how many do you get unsolicited that you will never order from? Those random catalogs can be stopped at www.directmail.com/directory/mail_preference. After filling out their form, the only catalogs you will receive will be those you ask for such as from the vendors you purchase from.

5. Send in the troops: This is actually pretty cool. A non-profit company called 41Pounds.org will stop junk mail on your behalf for just over $8 per year and they give you a 100% guarantee. What’s more, they donate 1/3 of their proceeds to environmental causes and planting trees.  Let them fight junk mail for you at www.41pounds.org/signup/

I hope this gives you some real solutions for saving yourself time, eliminating clutter and helping to save the planet.  I urge you to share this link with your friends, family and even Facebook. For these steps to really make an impact on the planet we need to get lots of people to join in!

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