Top Ten: Control Catalog Overload
Want some relief from the more than 18 billion catalogs that clog U.S. mailboxes each year – and destroy America’s forests? Try these top ten tips to reduce the fuel and materials wasted on catalogs.
- 1. Send a letter. You can find the catalog address on the mailing label. Don’t know what to say? Download a free sample letter from Junkbusters.com.
- 2. Delete your address. The Direct Marketing Association will add your name to a "delete" list for direct marketers through its Mail Preference Service ($1 online at dmaconsumers.org).
- 3. Sign up with www.catalogchoice.org. This free service helps you cancel catalogs you no longer wish to receive.
- 4. Pay the pros. For $20, StoptheJunkMail.com lets you and other family members pick which catalogs you want and contacts the others repeatedly until you're removed from their lists. For $41, 41Pounds.Org says it stops 80-95% of unwanted catalogs and junk mail.
- 5. Eliminate duplicate mailings. If you receive multiple mailings for the same household, call and ask the company to delete the extra listing.
- 6. Stop undeliverables. If you move, fill out the Postal Service's National Change of Address form to stop catalogs from piling up at your old address.
- 7. Get catalogs less often. Contact the catalog's customer service or order department to find out how you can get the catalogs you want, but fewer of them.
- 8. Switch to e-mail. Given the choice, receive product promotions and sale notifications electronically, with links to the company’s Web site.
- 9. Urge catalog companies to use recycled paper.When you place an order, ask if the catalog is printed on recycled paper. Tell the company why that’s important to you, and encourage them to switch – or make the switch yourself to more forest-friendly mailers. Get more details from Forest Ethics.
- 10. Recycle catalogs.If your local recycling program doesn’t accept catalogs, contact www.earth911.org to find the nearest program that does. If you get catalogs from stores at the local mall, take their catalogs back to them and urge them to set up in-store recycling.