Reducing Junk Mail

It’s a daily ritual. You fetch the mail, sort it into “real” mail and junk mail, and toss the junk mail into the recycling. It’s such a waste—not only of natural resources—but of our money and our time: 100 million trees, hundreds of millions of dollars, and eight months of our lifetime dealing with it, according to Here are five ways you can reduce junk mail:

  1. Register on the Direct Marketing Association website. You can do this online for $2 or mail in the form with a $3 payment.

  2. You can ask your credit card company to stop sending checks.  If you’re tired of endless credit card offers, you can stop most by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit

  3. If you have catalogs coming to you that you no longer want, make a quick call to the 800 number on the catalog.  You can also control your mail preferences for many catalogs for free by registering at Catalog Choice.  

  4. To maintain your new junk mail-free lifestyle, get in the habit of writing “Do not rent or sell my name” or “Do not add me to mailing lists” by your name any time you are ordering, subscribing, or entering anything via mail.  

  5. There are some fee-for-service companies out there who advertise that they will do much of this for you, for a fee, such as 41 pounds and Stop the Junk Mail. You can always review and evaluate these services on your own.