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9 Tools to Reclaim Your Mailbox

9 Tools to Reclaim Your Mailbox

Stop Junk Mail at Its Source

Here’s one of those fun, math “story” questions for you: A recent study estimates that our planet is currently losing 15 billion trees per year, with only 5 billion of them being replaced. If we have about 3 trillion trees on the earth right now, how long will it be until they’re all gone?

bulbHere’s a hint: Currently there are about 400 trees per every person on the planet, but they’re disappearing at the rate of 1.4 trees per person per year.

We’re not exactly sure what the answer to the math problem is (in fact, we don’t think we want to know). But according to Thomas Crowther, a Yale University researcher and lead author of the study, the main reason why our trees are disappearing is apparent. “Human activity came out as the strongest control on tree density across all biomes,” he said. “It really highlights how big of an impact humans are having on the Earth on a global scale.”

While various factors play a role in the eradication of our trees, this infographic from TakePart.com shows the huge impact of just one year’s worth of junk mail in America.

9 Tools to Reclaim Your Mailbox Infographic

Click to enlarge

But Can’t I Just Recycle It?

You might think that simply recycling all your unwanted mail would be the perfect solution; after all, recycling results in a lot less paper in the landfill. However, recycling isn’t the best solution to the problem of unwanted mail. The fact is, recycling doesn’t reduce the resources necessary to create and transport the mail to your home. In addition, the collection of the mail and the recycling process itself also use a lot of resources. It is much better to simply have less junk mail in the first place. But how do you stop the tide of unwanted advertisements, offers and flyers that find their way to your mailbox?

Saying “No” to Junk Mail

It may take some effort, but you can eliminate (or at least reduce) the amount of unwanted mail you receive. A quick online search revealed these resources that you can use to just say, “No more, thanks!”

  1. CatalogChoice.org Free service to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more.
  2. DMAchoice.org Helps you get more of the mail you want and less of the mail you don’t.
  3. OptOutPrescreen.com The official Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website for consumers to opt in or out of firm offers of credit or insurance.
  4. CanadaPost.ca Tips and how to’s for reducing advertising mail in Canada.
  5. Valpak.com Use this form to remove your address from the Valpak® blue envelope mailing list.
  6. StopJunkMail.org.uk A not-for-profit junk mail advice service in the U.K.
  7. Cleanup.org.au Provides steps to reduce the amount of junk mail in Australia and minimize water and paper resource waste.
  8. In Germany, stickers with “Bitte Keine Webung!” (“Please, no junk mail!”) seem to do the trick.
  9. In Sweden, stickers that say “Ingen reklam tack” work, too!
comment_2Have you already taken steps to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive? How did you do it? We’d love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below.

Takepart: One Year in American Junk Mail
LA Times: We finally know how many trees there are in the world
PDF: Mapping tree density at a global scale
Time: Here’s How Many Trees Humans Cut Down Each Year
PDF: How to Get Off Mailing Lists
Making This Home: Less Clutter = Less Junk Mail
Catalog Choice: Stop Junk Mail For Good
Canada Post: How do I stop receiving advertising mail?
Valpak: Mailing List Removal Request
Stop Junk Mail in the UK
How can I Reduce Junk Mail in Australia?

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