Kill Slightly Fewer Trees By Leaving Junk Mail Lists

Thanks to e-mail and online bill payments, mailboxes are a lot less personal than they used to be. According to WalletPop, each week, the average American receives 1.5 pieces of mail they might actually be interested in (yes, including bills), but 16 pieces of junk mail. Evidently, “OCCUPANT” is a pretty popular guy. But when unwanted solicitations are 90% of what’s in our mailboxes, why do they keep on coming? How can you make them stop?

Economic stimulus, that’s why. No, really. Direct mail is a huge revenue source for the U.S. Postal Service…and the companies that create it.

“Direct advertising mail and catalogs account for more than $702 billion in U.S. sales and 10 million jobs annually,” says Neil O’Keefe, vice president of the Direct Marketing Association, a company that represents about 80% of the credit card, home insurance and magazine subscription offers stuffed in your mail box.

If you want to be cruel and help put some of those people out of a job, the article offers some resources to start having your name removed from junk mail lists. A few places to start: the Direct Marketing Association, Opt-out Prescreen, and ADVO, Inc.

Trash or treasure? The price of junk mail [WalletPop]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.