About Junk Mail

Junk mail is an ongoing problem for mailboxes all over the world. Almost every household receives unwanted advertisements, magazines, and solicitations that are immediately recycled or thrown out to avoid clutter. It’s not only a huge personal inconvenience; junk mail also negatively impacts the planet.

Each year, more than 100 million trees are chopped down to make the paper for junk mail. In the United State alone, nearly 4 million tons of junk mail are produced each year. But that’s not all. In addition to contributing to the destruction of trees around the world, junk mail has several other adverse side effects:

  • Green House Gas Emissions: Creating and shipping junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 9 million cars each year.
  • Wasted Water: About 28 billion gallons of water are wasted to produce and recycle junk mail each year.
  • Industry Issues: The pulp and paper industry is the single largest consumer of water used in industrial activities in developed countries, and it’s the third-largest industrial greenhouse gas emitter (after the chemical and steel industries).
  • Landfill Contributions: The average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year and 44% of that mail goes directly to the landfill unopened.

So what can you do about it?

There are several ways you can go about reducing your junk mail. One of the easiest ways to reduce the clutter in your mailbox is by signing up with one of the organizations below to remove your name from widely distributed consumer mailing lists. Click the links to learn how you can register:

  • DMAchoice – An online tool developed by the Direct Marketing Association to help you manage your mail. Here you can request to start or stop receiving mail from individual companies, or from entire sets of companies.
  • Catalog Choice – This site helps you opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more.
  • 41pounds.org – For a small fee, this organization will personally contact 20 to 30 direct mail companies on your behalf and stop the majority of bulk mail that comes to your home every day.

You can also call the businesses and organizations that are sending you the junk mail and request that they stop sending you mail.


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