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Junk Mail

So last time I talked about phone books. Today I’d like to talk about junk mail. No one gets junk mail do we? Oh, really? You do?

Our recycle bin at home is dominated by the junk mail that comes to us in the snail mail. I think that’s the dominant form of paper we recycle. Some, we don’t even open or look at. It simply goes from mail box to recycle bin to making more junk mail.

It’s even worse at my office; and with the economy the way it is, it seems to have ramped up. We get some of the trade magazines for free. And we get eight copies– one for each staff. Sometimes two or three per staff if they have multiple spellings of our names. One trade company I know was sending us 10 copies. I contacted them, said we really only need one (it’s still a good publication), they said they would get it down to one. We’re still getting 10 and it’s been over a year. Maybe I should publish their name here…

There is a company I discovered a few years ago and I will publish their name here. I discovered them when I was getting 3 copies a month of an Eddie Bauer mailing advertisement (when there isn’t an Eddie Bauer store within 100 miles of my home). It’s called Catalog Choice (http://www.catalogchoice.org/). It’s free and it works. Think of the number of trees and water used simply to make and print the paper junk mail is sent to us on.

Like I mentioned with the phone books last time, it’s a way to opt-out of catalogues you don’t want to get. Or multiple catalogues to one address. It’s easy to use. And, since I originally joined, they have added an opt-in for electronic catalogs called iCatalog. The way it works is retailers really do want to target their mail ads. We really only want to get what we want to get. Catalog Choice puts that together in a database and viola! less junk mail. Retailers are happy, I’m happy, it’s a win win.

And, with diligence, it has made a difference. Our home junk mail has been probably cut 60 to 70%. Not all retailers participate, but many do. And there are more and more each month. Check it out; it’s a way to more the “halve” your junk mail.

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