Sometimes, it’s hard to resist the pull to buy, even if it’s something I don’t really need, just because it’s so wonderful!
Several months ago, I decided that it was time to push back the paper tide. I didn’t need the temptation of seeing so much wonderfulness available to me. And I didn’t like the sheer waste of all that paper – considering all aspects of the paper production chain –going into the trash.
Here’s what I did:
I went online to the Direct Marketing Association www.dmachoice.org in order to opt out of catalogues, magazine offers, miscellaneous other mail offerings and credit offers. It costs $2.00 to have your name removed from multiple mailing lists for 10 years. While they request your Social Security number and Date of Birth, they will process your request without that information. I did not provide that data.
Then came the hard part. I took all the catalogues I receive, sorted out the ones I really, really like to look through, and put the rest in a stack. And I started calling. And calling. Over 2 months I made 97 phone calls!!! Was it tedious? You betcha!!! I spaced the calls, so I didn’t lose my mind, and I did fun things like stalk the British royal family on-line while I was on hold. Not very productive, but it satisfied my secret desire to wear tiaras and dress in designer clothes!
Every single catalogue company told me that it would take 2 to 4 months to stop receiving their publications. I am keeping a list with the dates I called to see how this works out.
And then, when I made call number 92, a lovely customer service representative told me about Catalog Choice www.catalogchoice.org. Catalog Choice is a non-profit whose mission it is to stop junk mail. All you do is go on-line, sign up with your name, address and e-mail, and start cancelling catalogues on-line! While you watch TV! YAY!!! Much easier and less aggravating than calling each catalog company individually.
Along the way as I was pursuing my calls, I found out about another mass mailing organization called Subscription Data Processing www.subdatapro.com. This is a business whose website leads with “Builds high-targeted marketing partnerships between publishers and e-commerce sites that help both parties grow and maintain stronger audiences.” Sounds like a good idea! Except if you -like me – are tired of receiving unsolicited mail. While I could not determine from the website what publications use this service, I was able to cancel one unsolicited magazine subscription on their website. If I receive more magazines out of the blue, especially lesser known publications, I plan to go on-line and try to cancel through their website. They may be coordinating the mailings.
So now I am 2 months into my marathon journey to stop unwanted mail. Has this been a fun thing to do? No!!!! But it was easy, and I feel better about NOT being on the receiving end of so much paper waste. I’ll keep you posted after three or four months and let you know how my mail looks! And, instead of thumbing through catalogues, I’ll get my needlepoint out again for evenings with the TV!
For more information, here is a comprehensive website with instructions on how to reduce your junk mail at home: www.globalstewards.com.