I don’t know about you, but I am taking charge of the amount of junk that comes through my letterbox. 95% goes straight into the recycling. What a waste of resources! I figure if I can stop it arriving in the first place – simply refuse it – I can make a difference to the number of trees that need to be cut down in order to produce it. Do you want to reduce your junk mail?
I have enough jobs to do around the home. Sorting the junk mail from the post I actually need to read is an annoyance I can do without. Collecting big piles of paper to go out to the recycling bins is another. Lugging the large bags of paper to the kerbside collection? You get the picture.
Top ways to reduce your junk mail
Communicate with retailers
A lot of the mail that I receive is from companies where I have been a customer but inadvertently forgotten to tick the box asking them not to mail me. Some I have been receiving for years, but never open and stick them straight in the recycling box (conveniently by the front door). If I really want news on special offers from a certain business, there is nothing to stop me receiving them by email (although these can also be a time consuming annoyance, see below).
Rather than sticking them straight into the recycling, I build up a little pile and then go online to let the companies know I no longer wish to receive their mailings. There is usually an email address on the envelope somewhere telling you how to do this to reduce your junk mail. After all, it saves them money too.
Send it back
When I receive unsolicited mailings that don’t give unsubscribe information, I simply return to sender with a note on the back requesting that they remove my details from their mailing list. They don’t always pay attention to my instructions, but it is worth a go. If they want to waste their time and money continually sending me bits of paper than I am just going to return, that is up to them.
We have a beautiful shiny new front door. I don’t want to mess it up with a no junk mail sticker, but I don’t want the postie or leaflet droppers chucking constant unaddressed adverts through our door. I have therefore ordered this metal sign from Amazon, which I think looks slightly classier:If I catch someone ignoring it, I will be chasing them up the road and giving them the leaflet back. It shouldn’t be this hard to reduce your junk mail, but sadly it sometimes is!
Talk to the Royal Mail
You can also reduce your junk mail by opting out of the Royal Mail’s door to door service. They get paid to throw menus, flyers, etc through your door, but you don’t have to accept it. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to them at:
Door to Door Opt Outs
Royal Mail Customer Services
PO Box 740
Mailing preference service
The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service funded by the direct mail industry to enable consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from lists used by the industry. It is actively supported by the Royal Mail and all directly involved trade associations and fully supported by The Information Commissioners Office (ICO).
You can sign up to the service to reduce your junk mail and any other person who lives, or has lived, at your property. It is well worth doing and only takes a minute or so. Visit the MPS here.
Go paper free
It has taken me a long time to understand the benefits of going paper free. I am the kind of person who keeps boxes of files regarding my bank statements and house hold bills under the bed, gathering dust and rarely serving any useful purpose.
Each time I receive a bill or statement through the post, I am now taking a few minutes to go onto the company’s website and change my communication settings. I can easily store anything important digitally!
Remove your name from the open electoral roll
Did you know that anyone can buy a copy of the electoral register with your details on it? No, neither did I! But it is possible to remove your details from the open register. Obviously, you will still be on the main register, which is used for elections. To find out how to remove yourself from the open register, visit gov.uk here.
Check the small print
Check the small print on any forms you complete to make sure you are opting out of any future marketing communications. These are easy to miss, so you need to be vigilant.
Of course, digital mail can be just as time consuming and annoying, but at least it doesn’t create paper waste. I am on a mission to unsubscribe from as many email lists as I can as well.
Does junk mail annoy you? What do you do to reduce your junk mail? I am on a mission! You can read my tips to reduce your plastic waste here.
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