05 February 2016

Putting a stop to junk mail

Today I'm going to talk a little about how you can live a zero waste (or close to it) a little easier.

I don't know if you've heard of Bea Johnson, of 'zero waste home', blog and book. (I suggest reading her book, it's really insightful.)

You can find more information about a zero waste life at her blog here.

She talks about zero waste in 5 steps, all to be done in order. The first is refuse. She talks about refusing what you don't need. Junk mail is something we don't need and most of us don't want. You can get off a lot of those lists!

There are 2 ways to get rid of, or at least lessen, your junk mail. 

1. You can stop receiving credit based or 'pre-approved' credit cards and insurance offers. 

A lot of companies will use your credit information to decide if you would be a good candidate for their services. My issue with this is that more people are looking at my information, and that I don't want their services. You do have the option to opt-in after you opt-out, if you do decide that you are interested in their services. 

You have he option to keep those pesky insurance and credit card offers out of your mailbox!
You can choose 2 options with this opt-out. You can fill out the online form and be off the list for 5 years. Or you can fill out the form and print the paperwork to send in and be off the list permanently. 

If you choose permanently, you still get put on the list for 5 years once you fill out the paperwork, until they receive your form in the mail. 
No more insurance letters in my mailbox! 

2. You can opt-out of direct marketing 

The website is pretty easy to navigate and you can opt out or opt back in at anytime. (although, I never want to see that wasted paper again!) You do have to register your mailbox(address) to use this service, but I have seen a great reduction in my junk mail from signing up for this.


This is not strictly junk mail, but junk calls are just as annoying. I can remember sitting at dinner when I was younger only to have the telephone ring and it was someone trying to sell something! So annoying, but now you can put a stop to that!

3. You can get on the 'Do Not Call Registry'

This website is for the United States only, but some other states have  a separate registry. With a little bit of searching you can locate those too. While the service will reduce unsolicited calls it does not stop solicited calls, market research calls, silent calls or overseas calls. It will still greatly decrease the number of junk calls that you receive. 

I hope that you are thinking about how much trash we are creating, especially here in the USA. The resources that it requires to make more plastic bags, bottles or even to recycle them is more than we should be paying. There are limited resources on Earth and we have been using more of them in the past 100 years than the whole of humanity. This insanity must stop if we expect to leave our children and the next generations anything! 

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