I love getting love mail. Letters from friends; birthday presents; photos of my nephews. Unfortunately, with the ease of staying in touch with email, the handwritten letter is a rare treasure in my mailbox.
On the other hand, I hate getting junk mail. Pre-approved credit card applications and more credit card applications. Fortunately, I receive very little junk mail beyond those annoying credit card applications. This means less stuff for me to sort through, paper to shred, recycle, and WASTE. (Did you know on average American adults receive 41 pounds of junk mail annually and 44% goes to landfills unopened? Source: 41pounds.org.)
How I’ve minimized mail, both junk mail and bills:
- e-bills: Credit cards, utilities, cell phone, cable, etc.
- autopay: The easiest way to pay recurring fees. Saves postage, too.
- cancel catalogs by calling the company. So far, I’ve only had one company that has not stopped, despite multiple requests.
I’ve just checked out these options to see if they can help me combat the credit card applications and the catalog that just won’t stop. I’m listing them in order of helpfulness to me:
- Stop Junk Mail Kit, which gives very helpful basic info, including that if you call the service to stop credit card offers (1-888-567-8688, OptOutPrescreen), you do not need to give your social security number; and when you write “return to sender” on unwanted mail, it just gets discarded since third class bulk mail will not be forwarded.
- Catalog Choice is a free service to stop unwanted catalogs. Their database doesn’t include the catalog I want to stop, so I filled out the “suggest a catalog” field. They’re supposed to send me an email after they’ve verified it and added it to the database.
- GreenDimes is a service to stop junk mail for 5 years. They even have a free option, which I signed up for. I started the process of taking my name off lists. Bummed that they didn’t put a note about how if you call the credit card OptOutPrescreen service, you don’t have to give your social security number. But helpful that so many services are listed and easy to access.
- 41Pounds.org costs $41 for five years. More expensive than Green Dimes. I’m not going to pay now but will consider it if things get out of hand again.