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Five Ways to Stop Junk Mail Now

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It’s everywhere. In my mailbox. On my countertop. On my desk. On the floor. Junk mail is here to stay. Or is it? I’ve decided it’s time to give junk mail the boot to help save the environment—and de-clutter my life.

The paper industry is considered one of the largest contributors to global warming, so the less I use, the better. It might also help prevent identity theft, too. Here are a few ways to halt junk mail from invading your home:

1. Opt out of credit card offers. Like most households, you probably receive at least one or two pre-approved offers of credit a week. Lists from major credit card bureaus are given to companies offering these pre-approved credit cards or insurance offers. You can either “opt in” or “opt out” by calling this service. Call (888) 5-OPTOUT, which is (888) 567-8688.

2. Become a member of Greendimes.com or 41pounds.org. Greendimes.com will help you reduce your junk mail by taking your name off the major direct mail lists, reduce unsolicited credit and insurance offers, unsubscribe you from catalogs, and in the process reduce your risk of identity theft. As an added bonus, they will plant trees for you, too! Subscribe to 41pounds, a Web site named after the average amount of junk mail a person receives each year! They promise to eliminate 80–95 percent of your junk mail when you subscribe to their service. And you’ll feel good about your choice: half of their profits go to environmental groups, schools, and youth groups.

3. Register with The Direct Marketing Association (DMA). For $1, their Mail Preference Service (MPS) will stop national advertising mail from hitting your mailbox. They estimate that 75 percent of all national mailings will stop coming to your home. DMA also offers a Telephone Preference Service and an E-mail Preference Service as well. They also offer great tips on identity theft and will point you to a variety of Web sites that cover the topic.

4. Eliminate junk mail at work. For no fee, the EcoLogical Mail Coalition will eliminate the junk that former employees receive at work. You can also reach them at 800-620-3975.

5. Take political action. Tell Washington you’re fed up! Although there is a national Do Not Call Registry, there is still no national junk mail registry. Urge Congress to create a national junk mail registry today. No time? Check out New American Dream and sign their petition asking Congress to create a National Do Not Junk registry.


Updated August 18, 2008

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