So 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 how 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.