Not receiving mail that you don’t want is even better than recycling. Take the following steps to reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive.
Control Your Exposure
The most important thing you can do to keep your name off junk mail lists is to control your exposure. Think about how often you give out your contact information via product warranties, professional associations, publication subscriptions, contest sweepstakes, writing checks or shopping online. Remember to consistently add a privacy statement to anything you put your name on asking not to be added to their mailing list.
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a national trade association for companies that send direct mail. Register online to remove your name from catalogs, magazines and other mail offers.
For each of these categories, you can choose whether or not you want to receive mail from companies. You also can choose to stop receiving mail for all companies that you haven't purchased from or donated to within an entire category. Any choices you make will be effective for five years.
In order to be a member of this organization, a business must agree to honor the mail preference requests submitted. However, this only applies to companies that you have not done business with already. If you previously have ordered from a catalog or shopped at a retail location, they may continue to mail offers to you. To reduce this kind of mail, contact those companies directly and ask to have your name removed from their list.
Opt Out of Mailing Lists
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a national trade association for companies that send direct mail. Register online to remove your name from catalogs, magazines and other mail offers. Any choices you make will be effective for five years. Your preferences only apply to companies that you have not previously done business with. To reduce this kind of mail, contact those companies directly and ask to have your name removed from their list. The nation's major consumer credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion) offer a website and a toll-free number to remove your name from pre-approved credit card offers. You’ll need your social security number, name, address and phone number to make the request. Opt out online or by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
Remove your name from lists to receive phone books.
Learn how to opt out of additional unwanted mail, such as national mailers and sweepstakes.
Sign up for e-statements or e-bills. Most utilities, phone companies, banks and credit card companies offer a way to receive statements and bills by e-mail. You still get a reminder to pay but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of trees.
Smartphone users can download apps to be taken off solicitor's mailing lists. Apps like PaperKarma enable users to simply snap a picture of an unwanted piece of junk mail and press "send" to become unsubscribed from the mailing list that generated it. For other app options, search app stores for "stop junk mail."