On this Earth Day there's something simple we all can do to save the planet. Stop junk mail!
Whether you call it advertising or junk mail the fact is American households receive 100 billion pieces of unwanted mail each year --according to a company that helps consumers reduce it. All that wasted paper has detrimental effects on the environment. The production and disposal of all that wasted paper consumes more energy than 3 million cars. Junk mail uses 100 million trees each year and nearly half of it ends up in landfills-- unopened.
So here's what you can do.
To stem the tide of pre-approved credit card and insurance offers. Visit optoutprescreen.com or call 1-888-5-opt-out. You'll be asked for your name, address, birthdate and social security number.
Also, register your name with the Direct Marketing Association at dmachoice.org . It won't guarantee an end to junk mail but can help. There's a one dollar charge to verify your credit card number.
You'll also want to contact your bank, credit card issuer, insurance company, and the three credit reporting agencies to ask that they not share or sell your information.
To stop catalogs e-mail Abacus. That's an alliance of catalog and publishing companies. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
To stop resident or occupant mailings contact Advo. You can remove your name by filling out a form at Advo.com/consumersupport.
There are companies, like ProQuo.com that offer to reduce your junk mail for a fee. For the most part they do nothing that you can't do for almost free. For more information about reducing junk mail, click on one of these links:
Federal Trade Commission: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt063.shtm
MSNBC article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18530707//