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Reduce Junk Mail for Environmental Impact

This was a shocker to me:

Americans spend 8 months of life opening junk mail; 90 million trees are leveled each year to provide the paper for mostly unwanted mailings; out of 5.6 million tons of mailings generated each year, 4.3 million are thrown in the garbage; 340,000 garbage trucks are needed to haul away all the junk mail that doesn't quite make it to the recycling bin.

Did you know that, on average, every Los Angeleno disposes of over 2000 pounds of trash every year?

Getting off of national mailing lists:

To get off a national mailing list, you should write a letter to the Mail Preference Service (MPS) of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). MPS is a free service provided by the DMA to assist consumers in reducing the amount of unsolicited national advertising mail they receive at home. In your letter, request your name and address be deleted from all mailing and marketing lists. Provide them with all possible ways of spelling your name, as well as the names of anyone else at your address who does not want to receive junk mail. Be sure to sign and date your letter. MPS will retain your information in their database for five years and will mail this information to business subscribers four times a year.

Send your letter to:
Mail Preference Service / DMA
ATTN: Dept. 9407644
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
Tel. No.: 212-768-7277

This will help reduce or even prevent junk mailings from members of the DMA.

How to notify list brokers:

Another way of reducing unwanted mail is by calling or writing to list brokers. You will need to provide them with your name and address. List brokers are companies that specialize in collecting and selling mailing lists. Below is a list of some of the major list brokers:

Acxiom Corporation
1 Information Way
Little Rock, AR 72202
Tel. No.: 501-342-2722

Donnelly Marketing, Inc.
Data Base Operations
416 South Bell
Ames, IA 50010
Tel. No.: 888-633-4402

R.L. Polk & Company
Attn: Opt-Out Coordinator
26955 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, MI 48034
Tel. No.: 800-464-7655

How to reduce coupons, ads and product samples:

To reduce or stop receiving coupons, ads and/or product samples in your mail, you will need to contact the companies distributing these materials to your residence. You can write or call these companies and request that your name and address be removed from their company's mailing lists. One such company mailing these materials is:

Advo Incorporated
Consumer Assistance Dept.
P.O. Box 249
Windsor CT, 06095
Tel. No.: (888) 241-6760
(Advo requires requests in writing)

How to reduce credit offers:

There are four credit bureaus: Equifax, Trans Union, Experian, and Innovis. These credit bureaus sell credit information to anyone who would want to purchase their lists. If you don't want your information sold, contact the four credit bureaus and request them not to sell your information. You can contact all four companies and stop them from selling your credit info by calling just one toll-free number: 888-5OPT OUT or 888-567-8688, 24 hours a day.

You can also send a separate letter to each of the companies at the address below:

P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

Experian Resource Center (TRW)
901 West Bond Street
Lincoln, NE 68521

Innovis, Inc.
Consumer OPTOUT
P. O. Box 219297
Houston, Texas 77218-9297

Trans Union
Name Removal
P.O. Box 97328
Jackson, MS 39288-7328

For a sample letter click here
Note: Make sure that you send a letter to ALL FOUR credit bureaus.

How to stop mail addressed to former residents:

If the former residents of your house neglected to fill out a "Change of Address Form" or it expired, you can fill one out for them. You must fill out a card for each unique last name. On the card write "Moved, Left No Forwarding Address" as the new address. Sign your own name and write on the form "Form filled in by current resident of the house, (your name), agent for the above". Once submitted, this information will be entered into the U.S. Postal Service's National Change of Address (NCOA) database and remain active for a year and a half.

Warranty Cards:

You can also reduce unwanted mail from companies mailing lists generated from warranty cards by writing or calling:

National Demographics and Lifestyles
Customer Service Department
1621 18th Street, #300
Denver, CO 80202


Prevention is such invisible sweetness -- like the aroma of blossoms. You'll enjoy more free time, less frustration, and eventually, as we band together, a cleaner environment when you help harnass junk mail.


Facts always help movitate us. Aren't these fact incredible? Make it a party -- ask 10 friends over and have a "stop junk mail" letter writing party. I know, that sounds like a personal junk mail strategy -- but in the long run...


I hope you find these resources helpful. To keep up to date with changes, contact the Direct Marketing Association -- or visit their website.