5 Tips for Reducing Junk Mail

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5 Tips for Reducing Junk Mail

Staff Writer · Dec 24, 2009

While it might seem like a detail, reducing junk mail is a high priority for many consumers. Getting relief from the barrage of paper that is jamming up your mailbox or flooding your entry can be a complicated process. Here are some of the main strategies that lots of families and individuals are using to help cut down on junk mail and promote conservation.

1. Report Junk Mail to the Right Agencies

One way to eliminate some of the extraneous postal mail that comes to your house is to contact the agency called the Direct Marketing Association and simply ask to be removed from mailing lists. You can experience a large reduction in the amount of mail that you get after registering. Consumers can also contact the three national credit agencies through an “opt out” system that can lead to less junk mail at your door.

2. Get Registered for Green Bill Paying

Lots of utility and service providers these days are offering new e-billing or “Eco-bill” alternatives for consumers who don’t like getting that paper bill every month. This is another big way to cut down on your postal mail and help save trees. You’ll also be saving monthly postage costs. Most of these companies have easy online payment options. They’ll send you your bill in the form of an e-mail, and direct you to a secure online location where you can pay it with a credit card or debit card.

3. Send It Back

For some of the more obnoxious junk mail that you get, a simple return to sender process may be the best way to go. The Postal Service does allow for this. Just mark the stuff “return to sender” and put it back where it came from. It may be helpful to check with your local postal carrier about the best way to do this, since in some cases, taking items to the local post office may help.

4. Stay off the Radar

Another way to cut down on junk mail is to limit the number of companies who have you on their mailing lists in the first place. This includes remaining unlisted in the phonebook, keeping your address confidential, and steering clear of items like sweepstakes or random contests that tend to harvest your personal information for later marketing purposes.

5. Look Carefully at Privacy Options

Consumers can often take advantage of privacy options, either online, or when filling out a paper document. You’ll often see a check box for the option to receive future “updates” which often means marketing, or in other words, junk mail. Being vigilant about checking or unchecking the correct box will help you avoid a larger flood of junk mail at your residence.

All of these options can help households reduce the amount of junk mail that they get on a daily, monthly or annual basis. Reducing junk mail is part of a greater strategy for some conscientious consumers. Other parts of this idea include recycling postal mail, or even reusing it in many different ways. Think about these different ways of coping with an overloaded mailbox.

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