Save the Planet One Piece of Mail at a Time

By Patty Wetli | Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Photo taken from Smithsonian Institute's Flickr.

Every month or so, I can count on receiving a pamphlet trying to sell me hearing aids because some direct mail company keeps mistaking me for my mother-in-law (that’s a whole other story).

And every month or so, I duly drop the pamphlet in our recycling bin. But what if I could stop the mailing altogether?

That’s the premise of a new program being promoted by the City of Chicago, doing its part to combat the more than 100 billion pieces of unsolicited mail Americans receive every year.

As part of the Chicago Climate Action Plan, which has a goal of diverting 90 percent of the city’s waste from landfills by 2020, the city has teamed with Catalog Choice to allow residents to pick what mail they receive from marketers.

Once you’ve signed up with the Catalog Choice service, which is free, you can select your mail preferences and stop unwanted shipping of phone books, coupons, credit card solicitations and hearing aid flyers. But don’t worry, until you tell them to knock it off, you’re on J. Crew’s list for life.

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  • Anonymous

    As a relatively long time user of Catalog Choice, it really does work. We get far less junk than we used to.

    The other key has been optoutprescreen.com, run by the credit reporting agencies, which stops unsolicited offers of credit. It also really works.

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