Last Monday, I received a pre-approved Credit Card offer, 2 offers for magazine subscriptions, a letter from my health insurer, and a ransom letter written in lamb’s blood. But it was a good day because I didn’t get anything from Pottery Barn – the Devil’s home-furnishing store. I’ve never even been to the Pottery Barn! Still, I wasn’t satisfied.
Today, Gratuitous World stops spewing nonsense and stealing your soul for a couple minutes, to give you some helpful advice on how to remove yourself from mailing lists and junk mail.
Here’s some plagarism:
- Junk mail destroys 100 million trees a year — the equivalent of deforesting all of Rocky Mountain National Park every four months.
- Largely due to deforestation, junk mail manufacturing creates as much greenhouse gas emissions annually as 3.7 million cars.
- More than half of unsolicited mail is discarded unread or unopened; the response rate is less than 2%.
- Junk mail creates four million tons of unnecessary waste per year.
- Calculating the weight of the junk mail trash from EPA data, it works out to 13.4% of 1276 pounds per household; that’s 170 pounds of trash per household per year.
- Don’t just think about the waste that junk mail produces; consider the energy required to produce the mail, and the emissions required to transport it to your home. And even if it gets recycled in the end, a great deal of energy is expended in the recycling process.
Credit Card Applications
Getting bent over by the credit card companies isn’t difficult. But that doesn’t mean you have to read their love letters. Name and address are all that are necessary:
Opt-Out Pre-Screen will ensure no pre-approved applications arrive in the mail. The online form is accepted without having to enter your Social Security Number. (Available to US residents only.)
I did the on-line, 5-year opt-out. It took 2 minutes.
Virtually all credit card and insurance companies get your mailing and credit information from one of the three major national credit bureaus, who share their lists between one another. Pursuant to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (1997), consumers can call any one of the credit bureaus, and upon request can have their name removed from all three lists.
- Equifax : PO Box 740123, Atlanta, GA 30374-0123 – Phone: (888) 567-8688
- Experian: Target Marketing Services Division, 12606 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75243 – Phone: (800) 353-0809
- TransUnion: 555 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60661 – Phone: (800) 680-7293
Direct Marketing Association
The Direct Marketing Association is apparently responsible for 75% of all national mailings that come to your home. By calling or writing them and requesting that you be added to their Do Not Mail List, your name won’t be on the many mail order sales companies that use the D.M.A. to generate mailing lists.
Visit Cox Target Media to remove your name. Unless you really want that $5 off a $100+ oil change.
Catalog Choice will remove you from many (if not most) catalog mailing lists.
Cut the cord, kids.