I'm sure we can all agree that junk mail is the worst. And did you know that the average American receives 16 pieces of junk mail per week, which is about 41 pounds of mail per year going into landfills. When you put it that way stopping junk mail is actually making a *big* difference for our planet.
I collected all of my junk mail for the past month or so to learn, and then teach you, how to cancel your junk mail!
Here's what I learned:
1. Look for opt out instructions on mail pieces: For example, on the one hundredth coupon I received this week from Bed Bath and Beyond, there was a link to opt out at bedbathandbeyond/unsubscribe.com. Here once you put in your information you would be able to unsubscribe from future mailings.
2. There are third party vendors to help you unsubscribe from mail: This is great because these sites either help you or tell you how to unsubscribe from mail. Opt Out Pre Screen has a form where if you enter your name and birthdate you can either opt out of pre-qualified mail offers for either 5 years or permanently! (Note: there is a section for your social security number and birthdate but they are not required fields). Another site I found was the non-profit Catalog Choice. This site allows you to search the names of any company and it will let you know how to unsubscribe from their mailing. This was especially helpful with some of the more difficult ones.
3. Sometimes you have to call: Unfortunately not all companies make unsubscribing from junk mail easy. Like Verizon Fios, you have to call their customer service number to unsubscribe from their mail.
In order to get rid of your junk mail I would recommend collecting it over a period of time like I did and then sitting down and work through unsubscribing to everything you have. Or you could do them as you get them if you're truly on top of it! It can seem a little daunting but once you start you realize it isn't that hard. Not to mention this is a great free thing you can do to help reduce your carbon footprint!
One thing to note: when unsubscribing most sites did say to allow anywhere from 90 days to 8 weeks for the request to fully process. It may be worth writing down what date you unsubscribed from so that after the processing period you can ensure you still aren't getting mail.
Join me as I document my journey to becoming zero-waste through this blog as a resource to others.