May 4, 2010

Junk It

I thought the best part – or rather the only good part - about moving was that you could ditch all the annoying junk mail at your previous address.

Well, it turns out I was wrong. In my experience (or ten), chances are that in the time it takes to schedule an appointment with the cable guy, Publisher’s Clearing House has already tracked you down and left numerous “winning sweepstakes” letters in your new, not-so-virgin mailbox.

If you’d like to stop the paper trail madness in its postal tracks, here are a few ways to reduce your intake of junk mail and help save a few trees in the process.

Nonprofit organization 41pounds.org stops 80 to 95 percent of junk mail from ever being stamped with your address and helps save species at the same time. The five-year service costs just $41 and more than a third of the fee goes to community and environmental organizations.

Precycle – a collaboration between Planet Green and Tonic.com - promises to stop most direct mail including advertisements, circulars, pre-approved credit card and mortgage offers, sweepstakes and other mailers in about 90 days for a fee of $37 (plus $7 shipping and handling). They'll even plant five trees on your behalf just for signing up.

Finally, if catalogs are the main source of your mailbox misery, click on http://www.catalogchoice.org/ and simply click on “yeah” or “neah” next to the direct mail pieces on their list and they’ll honor your wishes within twelve weeks, at no charge.

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