Junk mail

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Part of maintaining a green and sustainable business practice is remaining conscious of the waste you produce and the sources of that waste. Unnecessary amounts of unwanted junk mail are delivered to the Green Garage every day, most of which ends up in a recycling bin or the trash. Removing yourself directly from the source will act as a preventative measure from allowing waste to be produced in the first place.

What are the benefits of opting out of junk mail delivery?

  • Help the environment
  • Reduce clutter of unwanted mail
  • Save time managing unwanted mail
  • Protect your privacy of personal information

What is the environmental impact of our unwanted mail?

  • The pulp and paper industry is the 4th-largest industrial user of energy
  • Over 100 million trees are cut down every year to produce junk mail
  • The EPA estimates that only about 40% of junk mail sent in the U.S. is recycled
  • 1.72 million tons of junk mail end up in landfills each year
  • 5-10 times more emissions are created in the production, disposal and distribution of catalogs than the amount saved by shopping with a catalog rather than a car

So how do I start reducing the junk mail I receive?

Create an account with free opt-out services DMA Choice, Catalog Choice, or both. Below is some information about each:

DMA Choice

Divides direct mail into four categories:

  1. Credit Offers
  2. Catalogs
  3. Magazine Offers (this includes subscription offers, newsletters, periodicals and other promotional mailings)
  4. Other Mail Offers (this includes donation requests, bank offers, retail promotions and more)

Managing mail

  • You can choose whether or not you want to receive mail from companies one at a time. Or, if you prefer, you can choose to stop receiving mail for all companies you haven't purchased from or donated to within an entire category.
  • You have the ability to register up to four names under one account. This may be useful for our business-in-residence that receive junk mail for multiple people within one business.
  • Any choices you make will be effective for five years from the date you make them.

Catalog Choice

Free service to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more.

Simple three step process:

  1. You receive unwanted mail. Unwanted catalogs, coupons and credit card offers, donation requests, and other junk mail arrive daily and clutter your home or office.
  2. Report it to them. You can simply create a free account and register your opt-outs online. Just search for the company, and submit the opt-out.
  3. They will take it from there. Catalog Choice will act on your behalf to protect your consumer rights and get your opt-outs processed. You can keep track of your opt-outs, and if you receive the mail again, they will follow up.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the customer number and source code?

Both sites might ask for your customer number or source code. These are numbers that merchants use as an account for you. These can be found in the Customer Number or account number located in a blue box on the mailing label, or in the line above your name on the mailing label as a string of numbers that begin with the letter C. You can find the Source Code (also called the Catalog Code, Key Code, or Priority Code) located in a grey or yellow box on the mailing label.

How long will it take to stop receiving junk mail?

For either site, it can take up to 90 days for a request to be processed and for them to take full effect.

What if junk mail continues to arrive after the 90 days?

For Catalog Choice: They will deliver this complaint to the company, and if appropriate, to the proper authorities. To file a complaint, go to "My Choices" and click on the "Details" button for the particular company. This will bring you to the Activity Statement where you will see a record of your requests. Here you will find the "File a Complaint" button.

Other tips

  • While both sites say they can help you get out of credit card offers, neither has a fully efficient way of allowing you to opt-out of offers that you are already receiving. You must call credit card companies directly to be removed from their mailing list.
  • DMA choice offers the free site OptOutPreScreen.com to help you reduce the number of pre-screened credit offers you receive in the mail. FYI, this site does require a bit more of your personal information.