Put the Brakes on the Junk Mail Express

We've all seen how stuffed our mailboxes are each day with junk mail. Advertisements, coupon books, postcards, brochures and the like break the backs of our local postal delivery people each day across the nation. Each year, junk mail costs the environment approximately 80 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water. It also costs about $450 million each year to have it hauled off, incinerated or recycled. On average that means that about 34 pounds of junk mail is produced each year for every man, woman, and child in the United States. And if you factor into this equation that each person will spend approximately eight months out of our lives dealing with junk mail, and you have a huge sum of wasted time, money, and valuable resources. But you shouldn't feel powerless to stop it. There are steps you can take to tame the junk mail beast.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the largest list broker in the US, sells your name and address to those wanting to target you for their product. Contact them directly with a postcard that contains the date, your name and address, and sign it. Be sure to include all variations of your name, and your maiden name if you've recently married. Instruct them to remove your name from their mailing lists. Send the postcard to:

Direct Marketing Association

Mail Preference Service

P.O. Box 643

Carmel, NY 10512

Tel: 1- 212-768-7277

www.dmaconsumers.org

Be careful when you do submit your name and address to anyone, as you can become part of their mailing list which might be sold at a later date, putting you right back at square one. If you're filling out a form such as a warranty, subscription, raffle, customer info card, credit card application, membership for an organization, be sure to instruct them not to sell, rent or trade your name or address. Remember to do this every time you're giving your contact information to a sales representative or customer service associate when you purchase something.

And when you receive an unwanted publication in the mail, immediately contact the toll-free number listed on the publication and request to be removed from their mailing list. Businesses and organizations are glad to hear from you if you're not interested in receiving their materials because it saves them advertising revenue.