Reduce junk mail
Direct mail or junk mail is mail (other than bills), which you didn’t request and don't want. When you give your name and address to a publication, credit card company or organization, your information may be used at a later date for solicitation purposes. Below are some helpful tips to reduce junk mail, courtesy of King County.
Don't let your name become a commodity
Every time you enter a contest, make a purchase or donation, join a buyer's club, order a product by mail, subscribe to a magazine or return a warranty card, your name and address can be placed on a mailing list and sold. To prevent this from happening, write "Please do not rent or sell my name" next to your name. Also consider not returning the warranty card for a new product - it's usually not required.
Contact companies and organizations directly
To stop receiving mail from specific sources, call the company or organization's customer service number (often a toll-free number). You can also make your request via e-mail (from the company's Web site) or send in a written request. If sending a written request, use the mailing label sent to you on the unwanted mail as the return address on the postcard. Many times, this label has a code number that will help the business identify and remove your name. Be sure to place the mailing label in the upper left-hand corner of the stamped side of the postcard.
Sign up for the mail preference service
A good way to remove your name from several national mailing lists at once is to sign up for the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service. This Web site provides instructions on how to register online or via U.S. mail. This service is only for national, not local, mail and only for residential, not business, addresses. The service is good for five years.
Opt out of catalogs
Catalog Choice offers a quick and easy way to opt out of catalog mailings. Consumers can indicate which catalogs they no longer wish to receive, and businesses receive a list of consumers no longer wanting to receive their catalogs. Just go to Catalog Choice and set up an account. Once you receive your password via e-mail, you can browse by catalog names from the huge list and start deleting. The program is offered by the Ecology Center, a California-based organization that promotes sustainable living.
Get off lists for credit offers
The major credit bureaus have a toll-free, 24-hour number you can call to have your name removed from mailing lists: 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688). The recording will ask for your full name, address, telephone number and social security number (to confirm the identity of the caller making the request). When presented with options, press 1 to have your name removed for two years, or press 3 to have your name removed permanently.
OptOutPrescreen.com also accepts and processes requests for consumers to opt-in, or opt-out, of credit or insurance offers.
Reduce unwanted mail at work
The National Waste Prevention Coalition's Business Junk Mail Reduction Project has strategies and tips on how to reduce the amount of unwanted mail coming to your business or workplace.
Call the Solid Waste Hotline at (360) 867-2491 or e-mail ThurstonSolidWaste@co.thurston.wa.us
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