Junk in the…

8 Apr

Junk in the Mail
by Najeema D.W. Thompson
I used to be thrilled about mail as a youngster. Now I dread walking to the mailbox; nothing comes but bills and JUNK! I’ve got a small mailbox and most days, aside from the occasional note or card, all I get is junk mail. In all forms – some which I appreciate (coupons), most just takes up space.

I know you feel me.

It’s All About the Green (Trees and Money)

I was green before it was popular. Early on I recognized our need to reduce waste to protect our planet. According to a time article (Dec 15, 2008; De-Cluttering your Mailbox) you’ll spend 8 MONTHS of your life handling junk mail. And 44% of that mail will be unopened when it reaches landfills. Similarly disturbing, these mailings kill 100 million trees each year.

A San Francisco environmental group Forest Ethics launched the Do Not Mail campaign, similar to the Do Not Call Registry. But lobbyist of the direct mail industry are taking politicians to the Post office. (corny I know) The Direct Mail lobby pours millions of dollars into the already billion dollar industry, nearly $646 billion dollars in sales.

Since I’m making none of that money and because I care about the environment, for my children’s children children , cause (N.E.R.D.) no one every really dies. Let me share a few websites that could help you free up space in your mailbox (especially if you’re going on a fabu vacation and won’t be able to check the mail) *hugs & smiles*

http://www.catalogchoice.org/

Can’t get rid of your LLBean, Sears, Crutchfield or River Valley Sweets catalogs? This site contacts mailers on your behalf to put the kabash on your subscriptions. FREE
· Important: You’ll need the customer number from the back of your catalog in order to remove them.
· WARNING: Sometimes it doesn’t take. But hey, it’s free, take what you can get.

http://www.greendimes.com/
Okay, so you wanna be bougie about it. Shell out $20 bucks and Greendimes.com (now Tonic Mailstop) will reduce your junk mail by 90% in 90 days. That’s their claim. As a “clutter clearing service,” they remove your name from a wide range of mailing lists. They do the grunt work for you and faster than you would.
· Good Thing: Probably more reliable than CatalogueChoice, greendimes follows up monthly to make sure you’re in the clear – talk about service.

http://www.proquo.com/
Ballers on a budget will find ProQuo.com to be the best bet. Fire the Valupak, credit card solicitations and catalogues. You miss on your chance for Publisher’s Clearing House, but Ed McMann ain’t coming to your house no way.

This is regarded as the most comprehensive site, so, I’ll talk about it most.

· What they didn’t tell you: 
So, I tried ProQuo last night. (I’ve vowed not to write about something or send out links without personally reviewing them > yeah, sounds like responsible journalism) And cool , the site identified that I was likely on 28 direct mail lists.  Not cool: You’ll get the chance to select which lists you want to disconnect from, but then you have download or print out the letters that you’ll have to sign and mail to the list owners.
· Suggestion: 
Exercise your hand before signing ten or more letters, use something to seal the envelopes to avoid Susan’s fate on Seinfeld. Also, use the stickers EasterSeals sends you for your return addresses. But you’ll probably need to hit up the post office for stamps for the snail mail. Kinda disappointing.  
· Note:
I had 18 letters to mail. I also had 18 emails from ProQuo in my inbox which instructed me to print, sign, and mail & THEN go back to ProQuo to confirm I mailed the letters. Seems like a lot.

· Up Next: ProQuo will let you opt-in to the offers you do want to receive (while generating ad income for them). 

With this electronic post, I encourage you to do your part for the environment by opt-ing out of the useless and often, unwanted junk mail that clutters our landfills, destroys trees, and detracts from the astounding beauty of our natural environment.

Go Green! Everyday in Everyway!
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