July
24 - 2008

Cutting junk mail

As far in the past as last Christmas, I had a subscription to GreenDimes on my wish list. GreenDimes is a company that lets you sign up, either for free or for a fee, depending on the services you want to receive, to eliminate your junk mail.

With GreenDimes, you start out by choosing the service level you’re interested in. The free service says it will handle some of your basic junk mail, if you’re willing to do the legwork yourself. I was interested in the premium service, which costs a one-time fee of $20. For that $20, the company does several things:

  • Allows you to input as many names as you want. This was really important to me, because we are still receiving mail for former residents of our house — not only the woman who lived here before we moved in three years ago, but whole bunch of other people whose identity is a total mystery to us.
  • Helps you help yourself. After I signed up, GreenDimes sent me a stack of postcards to send to the companies that require my signature. The postcards were addressed, had the appropriate text on them and even were stamped.
  • Goes automatic. The GreenDimes system automatically signs you up to be eliminated from some of the big mailing lists, such as the Direct Mail Association and Reader’s Digest related organizations.
  • Includes everybody. Another advantage of GreenDimes is that not only can you eliminate catalogs and direct mail, but you also can eliminate mail from companies. This would have been an especially fantastic feature to have activated a few months ago, before Office Depot sent me its giant 5-pound catalog that I received yesterday — and will never open.

It’s still too early to tell just how much junk mail the service will eliminate from my life. I can tell you, though, that last week when I input a bunch of junk mail I’ve received into the system, the mail that I requested GreenDimes to eighty-six included matter from about 12 organizations, and the total weighed one and a half pounds.

Another choice.

If your major junk mail problem is catalogs, there is another option. Around the blogosphere, I’ve seen several mentions of Catalog Choice as a good way to cut down on junk mail. It’s all free and available here. I haven’t heard too much about the outcomes, but my mom mentioned that she’s used the service and she likes it.

Have you tried either of these companies? Do you have other solutions for eliminating junk mail? If so, please share your experience below.

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