Thursday, May 3, 2007

Junk(mail) in the Trunk

And Amoxicillin said "Get Thee Out of This House, Strep Throat" and Lo! It Was Done.

But I digress.

Just the other day, my Mom mentioned that after visiting my grandmother in her assisted living home, she was concerned about all the mail "solicitations" that my grandmother was receiving. Unfortunately, my grandmother is a very generous person, and I say unfortunately in this case, because she is replying to these requests with donations, albeit small ones, but donations nonetheless run on sentence. It made me realize that junk mail is not only wasteful, but in some cases, it can be downright dangerous! Here are some suggestions, Mom et al., for how to get yourself...or someone you love, off those mailing lists.

One organization that can help you manage all that junk in your trunk is 41Pounds, so called because that is the average amount of junkmail that the average adult received each year. I am willing to guess it's more - those pre-approved credit cards are heavy! So what does 41Pounds do? The can help eliminate between 80 to 95% of all your junkmail by contacting the direct marketers who send it to you on your behalf!

The catch: well, there really isn't a "catch" but this service costs - $41 for five years, which seems a small price to pay for both green and peace of mind. Also, 41Pounds does not stop mailings from non-profits, so while this may not protect Grandma from The Humane Society, it will protect her from those credit-card company offers that often land in the trash for others to find and abuse (I know, I'm getting all X-Files on you).

If you have time to do a bit of legwork on your own behalf, Junkbusters provides some templates for getting rid of junkmail the old fashioned way...you BURN it. Just kidding. You send letters to direct marketers telling them to remove your name from your mailing list and not to share your name with others. And while we are on the subject...why not try to eliminate junkmail from the start? When you order something, online or from a catalog, there is usually an opt-out option (Op-out option? What does the opt in opt-out stand for? Anyone?) asking that they do not share (sell or rent is more like it) your name with other vendors. Also, love your Pottery Barn catalog? No need to go cold turkey - but places like PB will often take you off their catalog-every-time-they-make-a-change-to-their-Tahiti-collection to a catalog once a year or once per season.

I'm going to tell my junk mail to take a hike...I'll let you know how it goes.

Yesterday: One coffee in own cup/one softdrink in evil cup
Today: One coffee in own cup

4 comments:

Jenny Rough said...

I keep telling my hubby we have GOT to put a stop to our junk mail. Someone just e-mailed me another service the other day...GreenDimes.com I think.

I like your blog.

P.S. I just posted a blog on a "green" idea for recyling books :-)

NANA said...

I have had a lot of luck with just looking up the organization name on google..finding their website, and then a "contact" link, and telling them to take my name off their mailing list. Three out of five responded they would. One organization which i could not find a website for was, N.Y. Federation of Police(any help with that one would be appreciated.

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