Junk mail is a constant source of frustration and waste for many Americans. According to the EPA, over 4 million tons of junk mail are produced every year, and less than 50% of it is recycled. It takes about 24 trees to produce one ton of catalog and junk mail paper – which equates to about 96 million trees annually, just for junk mail. Production of junk mail also uses between 10 and 24 billion gallons of water every year, and releases the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions of 9 million cars each year (source). Want to learn how to purge your life of all this junk? You can help reduce waste and emissions by opting out!
- Create an account with Direct Marketing Association Choice to set mailing preferences and remove your name from mailing lists.
- To stop promotional mailings from credit card companies, visit OptOutPrescreen or call 1-888-567-8688. You can also contact the credit bureaus directly to request opt-outs:
Experian (402)-458-5247 901 West Bond Lincoln, NE 68521 Attn: Consumer Services Department
TransUnion (888)-567-8688 Name Removal Option P.O. Box 505 Woodlyn, PA 19094
Equifax (888)-567-8688 Options P.O. Box 740123 Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
- To cancel catalogs, visit Catalog Choice. You can also contact Epsilon's Abacus Cooperative, which is a marketing tool for catalog and retail companies. Fill out this online form, email nomail@, or call 020-8943-8049. epsilon.com
- Opt out of phone books via Yellow Pages Opt Out.
- Charity solicitations:
- When donating to an organization, enclose a note such as this one to request that they not send you solicitations or rent, sell or exchange your name, address and giving history with other organizations.
- Write to or call organizations that send you solicitations to ask them to stop. It is helpful to save the mailing label and the “reply device” from solicitations and send them back with your opt-out request.
- Read these articles from Charity Watch and Charity Navigator for more advice
- Contact companies directly and politely ask to be removed from their mailing list, and also request that they not rent, sell, or exchange your name and address with others.
- Email the Postmaster General at pmgceo@ to voice your concern about junk mail and ask for a choice in the mailings you receive. usps.gov
- Most banks and utility companies offer paperless bills and statement options. Contact them directly to inquire about online bill pay and digital bank statements.
- Newspapers: Consider an online subscription. It is typically much cheaper and saves a bunch of paper!
Check out more junk mail tips from Eco-Cycle.