Recently, Penny Gugino told me a tip about junk mail. Yes, you can put it in your recycle bin as soon as you get it, but it is better to stop receiving it so that it doesn’t arrive in your mailbox in the first place.
She directed me to the “Catalog Choice” website that contacts the companies and requests that they take you off their lists. Their free service works for mail-order catalogs from popular companies and for the coupon packs that have cluttered my mailbox. DMAchoice, a similar service from the Direct Marketing Association, charges two dollars for each registration. OptOutPrescreen.com specifically targets the preapproved credit card offers that are such a nuisance and an identity-theft risk. As you start receiving holiday catalogs this season, save the back cover which usually has your address label and customer codes, which you will need to refer to when you fill out the forms on Catalog Choice. Be aware that it may take up to 3 months for your request to be processed. It may seem easier to toss the unwanted mail, but take the time to unsubscribe, especially for mail addressed to previous residents or for recipients who are deceased. Let the Post Office help you as well: if appropriate, write “Return to sender; addressee no longer at this address” and put it back out for the mail carrier to pick up. Think of the benefit of letting corporations know that their advertising dollars are not being well spent. Resources – namely, paper, which comes from trees — could be put to better use. Let’s keep those trees growing and sequestering carbon instead of sending them to paper mills.
I’m glad Penny and I spoke. When one Doer tells another Doer “how to do it,” we can do a lot of good!
By Monica Lewis
Stewards of the Earth Committee