junk mail

How to Cut Back on Catalogs

April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm , by

Last night, I opened my mailbox and was attacked by an avalanche of catalogs. I’ve noticed a big upswing in the number I’ve been receiving lately, but this was just ridiculous. And while I do recycle, I’d rather not get them in the first place—it’s better for the environment and it cuts down on the amount of paper clutter that makes its way into my apartment. So, in honor of Earth Day, I took a few minutes to head over to catalogchoice.org, a site that helps you opt out of many catalogs’ mailing lists without having to—gasp!—pick up the phone. I first used Catalog Choice about a year and a half ago, entering the names of catalogs that I received almost every week (here’s looking at you, Victoria’s Secret). Catalog Choice then submits the opt-out requests to the individual catalogs. After about a month, I noticed a big improvement, and I never missed out on sales because I was already getting email newsletters from the companies I actually bought from. Unfortunately, due to my nasty online shopping habit, I’ve got a whole new crop of catalogs showing up. It only took about 15 minutes to update my preferences, well worth the effort to save me from future mail avalanches. If you want to save even more trees, you can sign up with 41pounds.org (named after the amount of unwanted mail the average person receives in a year. Scary!) or dmachoice.org. Both help reduce all kinds of junk mail, not just catalogs.

Photo via Gravityx9