How to cut down on Junk Mail

I think I am safe in stating most people don’t appreciate the amount of junk mail they receive each day. Catalogs, direct mailers, credit card offers, etc. and the list goes on. After awhile this all starts to add up, so here are some tips on how you can proactively cut some of this junk out of your life and save the planet from more waste.

What Junk Mail is doing to the Environment?

It is labeled junk for a reason, people don’t find value in it or they receive so much of it they can’t see the few items they might appreciate in the mass mess that is their mailbox. So you might say, so what? who is it hurting? The planet apparently. Most of these items will end up in landfills and it is wasting resources like our forests to produce the paper to make these massive amounts of mailers no one wants or needs. So here is your chance to reduce the waste and the headaches.

“According to the annual Statistical Fact Book of the Data & Marketing Association (formerly known as the Direct Marketing Association), direct mail marketing in the US is a $10 billion industry that results in an astounding 85+ billion pieces of junk mail per year. “

PaperKarma, Oct. 2018

Unsubscribe in Bulk

Thankfully there are services out there like Catalog Choice and DMA Choice that will help you unsubscribe to almost anything. This should be your first step and then follow the others below to be sure you haven’t left anything out. Catalog Choice is free, but you have to search for the items you wish to unsubscribe to. For the small price of $2 for 10 years, DMA Choice will do the work for you. Simply input your address(s) and they will remove you from anything available to them. If you prefer an app option you can use PaperKarma. This is a free app, but the service will cost you $2 a month to use, find what works best for you.

Credit Card Applications

Credit card applications also has an opt-out option if you know where to go! will remove you from those pesky credit card application mailers. Choose from a 5 year opt-out or to be permanently removed.

Phone books

Yes, phonebooks still exist and they will randomly show up at your door. Disappointing an opt-in option doesn’t exist rather than Yellow pages assuming we all need this in our homes. So if you are like me and want to stop receiving these you can visit Yellow Pages Opt-out site.


My shopping habits have changed a lot since reducing my waste. I try to avoid accumulating more stuff than necessary, so I find a lot of the routine coupons that show up at my house never get used. These are the ones addressed to “resident” for shopping in your local area. The most common ones are Valpack or RetailMeNot (formerly known as RedPlum). Click on the links to go directly to their address removal pages.

Donation Requests

When looking to donate, make sure you read all the checked boxes, usually they are auto-checked to contact you again. If you are have a login to their donation website, see if you can change your preferences. If these options don’t work, send an email or call them to ask to be removed or see if they can keep it to email solicitation only.

NOTE: All of these options will take time, so expect it to take up to 6 months to see a difference in how much junk mail you are seeing in your mailbox.

Don’t forget to VOTE!

One piece of mail you don’t want to miss is an early voter ballot! If you still have your ballot you can still turn it in. In Arizona, take it to any polling place on November 5. Skip the lines, you are just dropping it off.

Photo by Element5 Digital on

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My name is Kate and I'm a world traveler looking to make a positive impact by reducing my waste and single plastic use.