Eight ways to reduce your junk mail

reduce your junk mail

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.

Refuse it

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:reduce your junk mailIf 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 [email protected] 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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5 thoughts on “Eight ways to reduce your junk mail

  1. I get very little through the door, and I must admit I am naughty and shake out the flyers included in the TV guide onto the supermarket shelf!! Mostly they just fall out as I pick it up though.

    Electronic junk mail , on the other hand, is a nightmare. I get around 150 a day, of which at least a third gets missed by the spam filter so has to be manually blocked. Unfortunately it’s mass-generated spam from when we lived in America, and can’t be unsubscribed to, so I have given in and have opened up another email address as my main one, and will keep the other one for those times when you have to enter an email address, but would rather not!

    It hasn’t really saved me any time though as now I have 2 accounts to check instead of one!! I must get round to completing the transfer of the ones I want to keep over to my new address so I can more or less ignore the other one.

  2. We hardly get any junk mail these days. I signed up to the MPS a while ago and any junk mail that does make its way through I simply stick a sticker over our address which says ‘Return to sender – please remove recipient from mailing list’. It seems do the trick.

  3. Also, don’t forget that the trees planted for the paper industry are a crop. The more paper we use, the more trees will be planted and harvested. These are important short term carbon dioxide sumps, they only release their CO2 upon decomposition, so they store it even longer if you file the paper . The trees we need to worry about are the long term growers and rain forest deforestation, any one have an oak or mahogany table? Much more damage there. Additionally, recycled paper uses huge amounts of chemicals and energy to break it down – not so environmentally friendly. The reduction of paper use is akin to saying “stop eating crisps, save the potato!”, trees are an oxygen producing crop! But yes, junk mail is a waste of a great resource. JC x

  4. Thanks for the Royal Mail opt-out email details. Despite having actively tried stopping all the unsolicited flyers etc. the only thing that I’ve managed to stop is the free paper. Every fortnight when I put out my recycling a good half of the box is junk mail. I am registered with the MPS and actively write to retailers etc but think most of what I get now if delivered by the postman.

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