“I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.” – Dr. Seuss

Landfill and Junk MailThe Lorax tells the story about the plight of the environment and how we need to shift our emphasis away from consumption to a sustainable quality of life. Dr. Seuss encourages 4-year-olds to save trees. As a 40-year-old, I’m trying to save the environment.

Last week, a friend sent a gift for my fortieth birthday from a service that stops junk mail, plants trees and will hopefully help save the environment. I now have a membership to GreenDimes. Here are five tips to save time and money by trying to eliminate unsolicited offers in your mailbox.

Tip #1: Use an online service to reduce the amount of junk mail that you receive. Here are three that will do it for a small fee:

www.greendimes.com
www.41pounds.org
www.stopthejunkmail.com

Here’s how GreenDimes stops junk mail. They write, “We’ve researched dozens of direct mailers and literally thousands of catalog publishers. They contact direct mailers and catalog publishers on your behalf and make sure that you stay off of their mailing lists. Most junk mail from national and regional direct marketers will stop, including credit card offers, insurance offers and unsolicited coupon flyers.”

Tip #2: You can save the fee by writing the direct marketers yourself. Eco-Cycle provides a step-by-step guide to remove your self.

Tip #3: Call this Opt Out number: 1-888-567-8688 New American Dream writes, “The main consumer credit reporting agencies, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax, maintain mailing lists that are often used by credit card and insurance companies to send out junk mail. The good news is that you can call a single number to get your name and address removed from the mailing lists circulated by all three agencies (as well as that of a fourth company, Innovis).” Just call: 1-888-5-OPTOUT!

Tip #4: Ask Congress to create a national Do Not Junk registry modeled after the successful Do Not Call registry. Take action here!

Tip #5: Stop mail addressed to former residents. Are you still receiving mail address to a former resident? Jeanine and I still get a monthly credit card statement for the couple that we bought our house from. For two years, we’ve written, “Please forward, not at this address” on the envelope and nothing happens.

So here’s a suggestion from the County of Los Angeles — Dept of Public Works: “If the former residents of your house neglected to fill out a ‘Change of Address Form’ or it expired, you can fill one out for them. You must fill out a card for each unique last name.”

“On the card write ‘Moved, Left No Forwarding Address’ as the new address. Sign your own name and write on the form ‘Form filled in by current resident of the house, (your name), agent for the above’. Once submitted, this information will be entered into the U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address (NCOA) database and remain active for a year and a half.”

Time is money. According to the Center for a New American Dream, each of us will spend an average of eight months of our lives dealing with junk mail. Take 20 minutes and get off the lists!

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