Drowning in holiday catalogs?

It’s that time of year…when the mailbox is full of Christmas cheer…and catalogs! And requests for charitable donations. And other mail you aren’t interested in reading. You may receive some mail from organizations and companies you’ve never heard of, so how to stop this paper flood at the holidays and all year long?

These catalogs and requests for donations that are unwanted are “unsolicited” mail or more commonly, “junk mail.” The U.S. Postal Service says that it delivers about 485 million pieces of mail each day. That’s a lot of paper! According to Eco-Cycle, sorting, reading, and recycling junk mail can steal away minutes each day —“you could spend up to eight months of your life dealing with junk mail.” Eight months is a lot of time to waste on unwanted mail!

Eco-Cycle also informs us that “Every day in the forest of northern Canada, majestic trees are cut to stumps—at a rate of 2 acres a minute, 24 hours a day—to produce junk mail and other paper products. These trees are not only critical in combating climate change by absorbing carbon from the earth’s atmosphere; they are also home to native peoples who watch helplessly as they lose everything they know to corporate paper company interests.”

What a waste of your time and nature’s resources. Sadly, almost half of all junk mail is thrown away or if recycled, never opened. It makes sense to stop junk mail from getting delivered in the first place. To do this, have your name removed from mailing lists by calling or emailing companies directly. Or if you would like to hear from them without the waste, you can switch to their email list instead of receiving print mail. And you can also ask your favorite charities to send fewer donation requests per year. You can also opt-out of credit card solicitations.

For more ideas and tips, check out Eco-Cycle’s guide, How to Stop Junk Mail in 6 Easy Steps. Their website also has 4 tips to stay off Junk Mail once you stop it, and FAQs about Junk Mail. Or check out our blog posts, Just Say No to Junk Mail and Makeover Your Mailbox!

Photo credit: krblokhin | iStock | Getty Images Plus

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