Day 28: Opt-Out

IMG_1854So tomorrow is recycling day–a great reminder that every week, I am taking part in a needless cycle–I get catalogs in the mail, which I then throw into recycling, which are then turned back into paper, to make more catalogs… and so on.

Really, 21 catalogs in a week is probably average–or if anything, a little on the light side. Certainly during the holiday season it’s a lot heavier–so heavy that our letter carrier can’t even fit them in our mailbox.


So I remembered hearing something about CatalogChoice on NPR sometime back. They have since been bought out by TrustedID, but as far as I can tell, it’s the same kind of set up: register an address, search for a company, and then opt-out. You can choose cataloghow often you receive catalogs (one or twice a year, holidays only)–or opt-out entirely, which is what I did.

Of the 21 catalogs we received this week, I managed to opt-out of postal deliveries for 18 very easily. One company required an email (TrustedID gives you cut-and-paste content to use), and one company, responsible for two catalogs, was not listed.

So now I wait to see if I have actually managed to slim down on my bulk mail. I figure I can keep to a regimen of once a month, pulling whatever catalogs still manage to show up in my mailbox and opting out of those as well.

TrustedID is not the only outfit to help eliminate unwanted catalog mail. You can also register with the Direct Marketing Association for their opt-out program. And I’m sure there are others (Have you opted-out? What did you use?)

I’m really not sure if one way of opting out is more effective than another–the important thing for me was taking a simple action to cut down on a pointless waste that I am otherwise tacitly supporting by receiving all these catalogs in my mailbox everyday.

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8 Responses to Day 28: Opt-Out

  1. Here in Sweden we just put a sign at our mailbox that says “no advertisement” and then we don’t get any. But yeah, some comes with addresses and I don’t know how to get rid of those… It is nice to be able to recyle less, and also to not having to see everything that we are expected to want to buy.

    • Mark says:

      I’m not sure how things are in Sweden, but I would say the vast majority of the mail I receive every day is some sort of solicitation. That or a bill!

  2. revdarkwater says:

    We’re going to do another round of opting-out of catalogs; thanks for the nudge! Seems it’s necessary every couple years. They crept back in, wiley wabbits!

    And congrats for making it to Day 28. If this were February, we’d have a month under our belts! (wink)

    • Mark says:

      And congrats to you too! I noticed TrustedID (and other sites too, I’m sure) will also help you unsubscribe to all those spammy marketing/sales email alerts as well. I might have to tackle those in the near future.

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  4. kellie@writingmoment says:

    Never heard of these opt-outs here in Australia, they sound like a great idea. I get many catalogues / etc that I quite often put straight into the recycling, such a waste.

  5. Pingback: Tip #6 – 28 Days of Decluttering | Minute by minute

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