As much as I love getting mail (especially giveaway prizes!) when you stop and think about it, mail can be very wasteful. Think of all those lovely catalogs you look through for about 10 minutes and then toss, hopefully into the recycling bin rather than the trash can. Think too of all of the miles that those catalogs have traveled and the gas used, as well as the resources devoted to producing the catalog in the first place. Yikes!
So what can you do? Nip it in the bud right at the source (take that, Pottery Barn! As much as I love you, your catalogs come way too often. Even Kramer from Seinfeld got fed up with it).
1. Catalogs: Abacus is a collector of addresses from people who have purchased things from catalogs. To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website for their postal address.
Be aware that if you unsubscribe, you'll most likely lose ALL of your catalogs. You can also contact each individual company for the catalogs you receive.
2. Unsolicited credit card applications: This one really works! I've done it!
Visit www.optoutprescreen.com/ to get your name off of those pre-approved lists. You can do this permanently or for a five year run.
3. Val Pack coupons: Visit their website to unsubscribe. Although, some of you frugal moms may want these coupons for their sometimes savings.
4. General Junk Mail: The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is responsible for a lot of this. Visit their website to opt out. I haven't done this but it seems like you need to pay $1 so they can check your credit card info. That's a shame.
5. Publishers Clearinghouse: The Daddy of all junk mail. Email them at email@example.com. I don't get their stuff, thankfully, so I haven't done this. Let's just hope they don't spam your email address! You can also call them at 1-800-645-9242.
6. One last tip: DON'T fill out those WARRENTY CARDS for applicances and electronics! They're just ticking time bombs of junk mail waiting to flood your mailbox. Keep your receipt for the item and only fill out the name and address on the warrenty card and enclose a note stating they can not share your name/address with other companies.