See you in hell Junk Mail.

Hello Paperkarma! I LOATH junk mail. Loath it. We have spam filters on email and I have been wishing for a spam filter for junk snail mail. In addition to being SUPER annoying and nothing I would ever read, or do anything with besides rip up and put in the recycling bin, it’s a huge waste of tax payer dollars because the idiotic post office subsidizes part of the cost of this crap mail, AND most importantly it’s a huge Eco-drain. The EPA reports that junk mail produces 4.5 million tons of wasted paper each year (that’s also 105 lbs of CO2 emissions/person/year, 28 billion gallons of water used in production, and a loss of 37 m2 of of natural forest habitat/person/year including cutting down 100 million trees/year).

The answer to my prayers: Paper Karma. It’s an App (you can download it for free now which I just did), that you take a photo of your junk mail and tell them to unsubscribe you and done! It takes a few weeks to get the companies to stop sending you crap (I’ll give you an update on progress/levels of junk next month). I wanted to get this post out now though as the app is free but only for a limited time.

Another option that I recently tried: DMA Mail Makeovers. I went through this process and was a little nervous because it asks for your SSN (but you don’t have to provide this thus I did not), but according to the green world is completely legit, and also will let you unsubscribe from the big ones (credit card cos) for 5 years.

Reducing this junk mail is a simple way to make a real difference and will help stop you from strangling the postman.

One day worth of junk mail

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4 Comments

  1. Susan Dreyfus says:

    Since they have already killed the trees — for anything having a return envelope try sending it back to them – no postage, no return address on the outside . First tear off your address label and enough paper to write “remove my name from your mailing list”, stick it in the envelope and drop it in the mail. I have been doing this for about a year and my junk mail has been gradually reducing –probably by 20-30% now. Every return costs them the full postage price and it keeps our mail carriers employed for now. Many companies do seem to pay attention after a while. Our carrier suggested this to me one time as she stood there watching me move the junk from our mailbox straight to the trash can.

  2. Bret says:

    I was getting one to two credit card offers a week, and I opted out a couple years. It has been fabulous and remember it being very easy. I took the DMA route, which I think was the one linked to from the ftc.gov website.

    Also, I wouldn’t worry about subsidizing the junk mail. USPS hasn’t been subsidized by tax payers since the ’70s. It still gets reimbursements for official government mailings, free mail for the blind, overseas voters, amongst other line item costs, but there is no subsidizing of mail for individuals or companies.

  3. sarahguder says:

    Thanks for the tip @ Sue. @Mark the Android version should be available soon, keep checking back!
    @Bret, glad you did DMA and it worked- I can’t wait to get less! Are you sure on the subsidy? The latest I read was in HuffPo Green (I know) that a stamp for general people costs $0.44, but a company running a ‘junk’ mail campaign can pay as little as $0.14.. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/todd-paglia/junk-mails-endless-summer_b_201928.html)- thoughts?!

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