Wednesday, July 29

Reduce the number of catalogs you receive

A while back I signed up for the “Please do not mail me unwanted credit card applications, offers to join your time share, and a zillion other pieces of useless mail I don’t want” list (I am pretty sure there is a more technical name for it but mine sounds better).

This list worked great for typical junk mail but not so well for catalogs.

Once a week our mailbox would be filled to the brim with catalogs trying to sell us pet toys (we don't even have pets), a new computer (tempting), party invitations, lawn decorations, wine (we usually looked through that one), etc, etc, etc. You name it we received a catalog for it.

I would spend a fair amount of my time removing personal information from the cover and sorting the catalogs into piles
  • Keep
  • Recycle
  • Give away (those containing fun/useful pictures that daycare or school could use)
Then my bloggy friend Lisa at Retro Housewife Goes Green told me about Catalog Choice.

Catalog Choice is a free service, sponsored by the Ecology Center, which allows you to choose which catalogs you wish to receive and which ones you don’t.

The benefits of using Catalog Choice:

  • You will be saving valuable resources from being used on unwanted items that go directly into a recycling bin
  • It’s free
  • You will reduce your mailbox clutter and the amount of time you spend sifting through unwanted mail
  • It’s easy
  • You have a positive impact on our environment
  • You will be helping merchants better target their market (i.e. only people with pets receive pet catalogs)

Yahoo Green has a great article called: Stop leaving a paper trail which lists a variety of resources for cancelling all types of unwanted junk mail.

I would encourage you to sign up for one or more of these free services and help save a tree (or a hundred).


Lisa Sharp said...

Thanks for the post and the link. :)

I give my mom my magazines and then she is going to pass them on to another green friend and that person can either pass them on or recycle them. The more use they get the better. :)

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

Your welcome Lisa. Thank you for pointing me in their direction. They are a great service.
I only get 1 magazine, a parenting magazine, and when I am done with it I take it to my kids daycare, write FREE on it, and it is gone by the end of the day. I only hope they pass it on or recycle it ;-)

Daisy said...

Please let us know in a later post how well this works. I've heard both good and bad about this service; some have said that signing up didn't work and wasted their time. I hope that's not correct!

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

Sure Daisy! I have been using it for a while now and I think it has helped. I did find that when I order something from potterybarnkids I started receiving the catalog again so I had to go and unsubscribe again but it only took a minute.

Eco Yogini said...

Thanks for the link!! We get a LOT of flyers, and even though I recycle them, it would be better if we just didn't get them. I'm going to check out these links to see what I can do :)

(found you through your comment at Crunchy Chicken!)

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

You are very welcome Eco Yogini! Let me know how that site works for you. It has worked well for me so far.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving comments. I heart comments ;-)

margotb said...

I really like your idea of sharing catalogs, but what do you do if you want to order something? has been helping consumers opt out of postal junk mail for 8 years now. One of the best pieces of advice we have for anyone wishing to get rid of their direct mail is not to order, try to shop local if you can and put your money into your local community which is working for you.

We had a member the other day who said she has used our service, and the above advice, to get rid of 140 catalogs a week, she now only gets 2 and her mail carrier is mad at her because he thinks she is putting him out of a job.

The key is to be thorough and persistent. Every catalog you receive with a different name or code should be treated as a new opt out request.

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

Thanks for the link Margotb. I have heard of this service but haven’t tried them yet. If there is a store that I would still like to get “catalogs” from I opt to receive them on-line. This is something I can do when I cancel them. I actually don’t do too much on-line shopping though.