Junk mail wastes an incredible amount of natural resources and contributes to climate change.
|The average American home receives 1.5 trees in their mailbox every year in the form of unsolicited mail. That adds up to over 100 million trees cut down and over 28 billion gallons of water consumed to produce one year’s worth of America’s junk mail.
Both residents and businesses receive junk mail. Recycling your junk mail is good, but stopping it from coming in the first place is even better. Stopping junk mail is a form of waste reduction (better than recycling). This page gives you the tools you need to stop junk mail. Click on the appropriate link below to go directly to the section with the tools for you.
Chances are your name is being added to a mailing list of some kind whenever you subscribe to a publication, place a credit card order, order items through the mail or the Internet, join an organization, donate to a charity, or enter a sweepstakes. In addition, there are companies who are in the business of selling your name to other companies who believe you may purchase their products or services.
To reduce junk mail, you need to reduce access to your name and address so that it won't be traded, rented, or sold to companies who send you unwanted mail. You can hire a service that will contact companies in order to reduce the junk mail you receive, or you can do it yourself.
If you are short on time or prefer the convenience of having someone else contact companies for you, there are multiple junk mail reduction services available. They'll take your and other family members' names off major direct mail lists, reduce unsolicited credit and insurance offers and unsubscribe you from unwanted catalogs. Go to http://www.catalogchoice.org/, http://www.paperkarma.com/ or http://www.41pounds.org/ for more information.
Business listings should not be construed as an endorsement by the City of Palo Alto.
Follow these steps to remove your name from mailings lists and stop receiving junk mail.
When making donations, ordering items through the mail, or subscribing to a publication, include a note that instructs the organization or company to not lend, sell or trade your name to other mailing lists.
Remove your name from mailing lists of companies who send you catalogs, sweepstakes entries, and coupons by calling, writing or going online and requesting that your name be taken off their list.
If you chose to write, your letters or postcards should include the following information:
Linda Ann Brown
Linda A. Brown
L. A. Brown
Send separate cards for each person who receives unwanted mail at your address.
Companies to Contact
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
Valassis Direct Mail, Inc.
P.O. Box 249
Windsor, CT 06095
Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing
Attn: Consumer Preferences
2830 Orbiter Street
Brea, CA 92821
Phone: (800) 422-4116
Consumer Information Bureau
Federal Communications Commission
445 – 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554
Phone: (888) 225-5322
Some unwanted mail will undoubtedly get through, so please recycle it!
Post Office Change-of-Address Cards
The Post Office rents the information from change-of-address cards to private businesses. This is how national list brokers, credit bureaus, and others may get your name in the first place. As an alternative solution, send out your own postcards announcing your new address to those whose mail you want to receive. You can also ask the Post Office to hold your mail for pick up until everyone knows your new address.
It isn't necessary to complete warranty cards to be covered by warranty. The only reason to return a warranty card is to find out about product recalls. If you want to return the card for that reason, only provide your name, address, and product serial number.
Dealing with unwanted mail can be a drain on the time and resources of your business. Anyone who works in an office can see how much unwanted mail arrives daily and a significant amount of time can be spent handling it. This includes mail that employees don't want, duplicate mailings and mailings to employees who are no longer there. The problem has gotten so bad that some businesses don't even allow Standard Mail (formerly known as Third-Class Mail) to be distributed to employees. Instead, they instruct the mailroom to recycle it all. Even then, it wastes the time of the mailroom staff. So, if your unwanted mail is multiplying like rabbits, reduce it with these junk mail reduction strategies!
Most mailers want a written request for removal from mailing lists.
This does not need to be an elaborate system, but can be as simple as a brief written or stamped note. Here are 3 easy steps to reduce the unwanted mail:
1. Create a Post-it note with the words "REMOVE FROM MAILING LIST" written or rubber- stamped on it.
2. Look through the unwanted letter, catalog, periodical, etc. for a fax number for the company sending the unwanted mail. In the case of a catalog or periodical, the fax number is usually located on the inside cover or first couple pages. If there's not a fax number, there is probably a phone number and a quick phone call can get you the fax number.
3. Tear off the page from the publication that has the address label on it or use the envelope in which the mail was received, place the Post-it note above the address label and fax it off to the company. You can reuse that same Post-it note over and over again!
This method can be used for reducing mail on an individual basis or your company can place someone in charge of your "Junk Mail Crusade." Often there are several employees receiving junk mail from the same mailer. The "crusader" can sort through the junk mail by mailer and remove several employees at once. Mail sent to terminated employees can also automatically be forwarded to the person in charge of the junk mail so the mailers can be notified.
The two companies listed below compile information on businesses and sell that information to other businesses for direct mail purposes.
An authorized representative of your business can request a delisting verbally or in writing. According to D&B, the delisting will result in the permanent removal of your business information from marketing directories, publications and/or mailing lists. To request a delisting, call the D&B Customer Service Center at (800)333-0505 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On letterhead, request your business be removed from their mailing lists. The letter should read at the top: “Attention – Business Update Department.” The letter should include the complete business name, address and telephone number; the name and title of the person requesting the deletion; and that person’s signature. The letter can be faxed to (402) 331-0176 or mailed to InfoUSA , P.O. Box 27347, Omaha, NE 68127.
Writing "Return to Sender" and returning junk mail back to the sender does not remove you from mailing lists. Only First-Class Mail and mail marked "Return Service Requested," "Change Service Requested," or "Postmaster Send Change of Address to" will be sent back to the original mailer at their expense. Much of the unwanted mail your business receives is NOT First-Class but is rather Standard-Class or Package Media-Class which does not include return to the original mailer or forwarding services. The Post Office will just dispose of the mail.