Did you know that in Canada [and apparently other places around the world], you can put a “No Junk Mail” sticker on your mail box and effectively avoid about 80% of unwanted flyers, mailers, and the like?
Of course, it’s not that easy in America.
Today I had a bit of time since I’ve been stuck home with sick kiddos, so I decided to go through the pile of junk mail to start unsubscribing.
Turns out, it’s quite challenging to stop unwanted mail.
I was able to unsubscribe from some mailers that had a web address or phone number listed and also some catalogs that I accidentally subscribed to at some point when I bought a product.
I also switched all my bills to paperless. 👍🏻
In Zero Waste by Shia Su [pick up your copy HERE, or borrow it from the library like I did], she lists a few online resources to help reduce junk mail.
DMA Choice ($2 fee)
Catalog Choice (free service, but in my experience, often just directs you to the catalog’s website to unsubscribe)
Opt-Out Prescreen (free service that provides 5yr or permanent option to opt-out of insurance and credit card mailings)
And the app PaperKarma (4 free unsubscribes for new members, then a subscription [ironic] fee of $1.99/month or $19.99/year)
For the most part, I think a simple call or email to customer service asking to be removed from the mailing list is an effective way to stop a lot of unwanted mail. Besides that, DMA Choice and Opt-Out Prescreen should take care of a lot of the junk mail that’s left – although I won’t know for a while because it apparently takes up to 90 days for the mail to stop coming.
So, while I’m waiting, I’ll be unsubscribing from the mailers as they arrive.
I also found this article from Eco-cycle helpful: How to stop junk mail in 6 easy steps.