Junk mail is by far the source of most common complaint you hear from U.S. residents.
Unless you live in a
grass hut on an uncharted desert island in the South Pacific with no civilian
contact, you're going to end up on direct marketing (junk mail &
telemarketing) lists. It's near impossible to go
through life undetected by direct marketers. Even if you do everything
possible to hide from the companies you know will sell your name, a company you
least expect sells it to the Big Ones doesn't matter how much you complaint about it. A few examples are the
- The Post Office
will sell your personal information every time you fill out a change of
address form or register for a new postal address. (And you always
wondered how all of those junk mailers found you right after you moved!)
- The Government
will leak/sell your personal information from public records. If you
are a registered voter, have a driver's license, a marriage certificate, a
fictitious business name, own property, etc., your personal information is
- The Small Companies
will sell your name to the big junk mailers and telemarketers so frequently that you could
retire a rich person if you got a nickel for every time it was sold.
The smaller companies get your personal information every time you fill out
a warranty registration card, enter a contest, subscribe to a magazine,
request a catalog, request a rebate, etc.
The point being that unless you live in total seclusion and have no
contact with the outside world, you will end up on junk mail and
It should come to us as no surprise that junk
mail is an extreme waste of our valuable resources. The following is just
a few of the many statistics regarding junk mail:
According to the Good
Advice Press, each year junk mail...
Other disturbing information:
- Crams American mailboxes with more than 88 billion pieces of junk
- Kills 93.5 million trees (and the critters who live in
them. This alone is enough to complain about junk mail)
- Destroys more than a tree per household.
- Generates 5.5 million tons of unnecessary waste.
- Produces almost 15 million cubic yards of waste.
- Fills 3% of American landfills.
- Uses 38.5 billion gallons of water for paper
- Steals $550 million in American tax dollars for
50% of all junk mail
gets thrown into the trash unopened.
- Only 1% or 2% of junk mail is actually
responded to - that's 1 or 2 out of every 100 pieces
- In one day, Americans receive enough junk mail to
produce energy to heat 250,000 homes.
- The inks and other chemicals used to make junk
mail are high in concentrations of heavy metals like Zinc and Magnesium.
With half lives of millions
of years, it is nearly impossible for these substances to biodegrade.
Here's How You Get Off The
process to remove your name from the many junk mail and telemarketing lists is relatively simple.
The problem is, that it's very time consuming. The steps are as follows:
who the appropriate junk mail and telemarketing database companies are.
the proper opt-out addresses (from the many offices each company has located
throughout the country).
to each company requesting to have your name and information removed
from their lists.
Sounds easy enough, right? If you're like most people, you probably don't have the extra time to spend on yet another project. Sorting through your everyday junk mail and dealing with telemarketing calls is already a big enough task. Thanks God, there are companies already established to fight with junk mail.
- StopJunkMail.org provides free downloadable kit containing letter templates for you fill out and mail to the major direct marketers.
- CatalogChoice.org is a nonprofit service for removing your name from specific catalog lists.
- Direct Marketing Association provides information about how to reduce the amount of junk mail by registering with the Mail Preference Service
- Green Dimes is a private company that charges to remove names from mailing lists.
- 41pounds.org is a private company that charges to remove names from mailing lists.
- JunkMailFixit is a private company that charges to remove names from mailing lists
- Private Citizen is a private company that charges to reduce your junk mail and calls.
- Tidy Mailbox is a private company that charges to remove names from mailing lists
- www.obviously.com provides a free guide to reducing unwanted or intrusive advertising
- www.stopjunk.com provides a free guide to reducing unwanted or intrusive advertising
- www.stopthejunkmail.com provides automated mail list removals