Tuesday, May 6

Postal Junk Mail

We've all had leaflets, papers, and advertisements delivered into our postbox. Whether it's for the local take-away, insurance, or trying to sell you new windows, it's mostly a nuisance and ends up in the bin or recycling box. Wouldn't it make more sense, be less annoying, and be mindful of how many trees are used for the printing, to simply stop them being delivered at all? Something like 100 million trees are used for this type of paper alone.

There are small businesses now that offer such a service. Some require a payment but there are free things you can do to stop the deliveries.

Easy and Free Options

Get stickers for your mailbox
or simply write a sign - No Commercial Leaflets, or, No Junk Mail.

Register with the Mailing Preference Service
They will remove your name from many direct mail lists. These are companies who have bought your name and address with the intention of targeting you for credit cards, loans, etc. It takes about 4 months to take effect.
This won't stop sveeral types of mail, such as 'To the Occupier' and where you've unknowingly given your permission.
Worth doing as you can register online. Quick and easy.

Opt out of being on the edited register
When you fill in your electoral registration form, you're able to choose whether you want your details included in the edited register. This can be bought by any company or organisation and can be used for any purpose, including sending junk mail. Tick the box to ensure your details are on the ‘full register’ only.

Opt out of Door to Door
For unaddressed (to ‘occupier’ or ‘householder’) junk mail, you can write to the Royal Mail Door to Door Opt out Services, Beaumont House, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6ZZ, Tel: 08457 950 950 and ask for your address to be removed from their database. Note that this will result in you no longer receiving unaddressed information from your council, such as civic newsletters.

Tick the box to say ‘no’ to further information
Whenever you order a product or service, make a donate, fill in a survey, or fill out a warranty card, tick the box to say that you don’t want any further information about other products and/or services. If there is no tick box, write in large letters "Do not sell my name or address".Read those tick boxes carefully. Sometimes they say, tick for no information, other times they word it the oppsite way so that a tick is giving them permission!

Return to sender
If the junk mail has a return address on the envelope, write "Unsolicited Mail. Return to Sender" on the envelope and post it the next time you pop into your post office. The sender will have to pay the return postage and will usually remove your details from their mailing lists.


DirectMail.com compiles a list of people who indicate that they don'tt want to receive ads in the mail. Registration for the list is free. The website supplies the list to mass mailers, which can choose to check it with their mailing lists and remove names that appear on both.

It costs only $1 processing fee, and the Direct Marketing Association can add your name to its 'do not mail' list. The DMA requires its more than 3,600 member companies to match their marketing lists with the 'do not mail' list. Junk mail will decrease about three months after your name gets on the list.

To stop credit card and insurance offers, call (888) 5-OPTOUT [(888) 567-8688] or register at optoutprescreen.com, which removes your name from major credit agencies' marketing lists for five years, or permanently if you complete a mail-in form.

Now that we are living up a mountain in relative solitude, we don't have this problem. But having been an urban dweller for almost all my life, I still remember just how annoying and wasteful was junk mail. You have a choice, and it doesn't take much.


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