Stopped in the Tracks

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It is one thing to declutter stuff from your home but even better is to stop it before it gets in the door and gains a foothold in the house.  I was reminded of this theory with respect to junk mail when I read the most recent post from The Recovering Dabbler.

Delona’s post is specific to the US but we have our own problems with junk mail here in Australia.  For many years we have had a ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker on our letterbox which generally stops the hand-delivered supermarket catalogues and the like.  Posted mail is a little more difficult.

Some years ago I grew weary of receiving an endless stream of pre-approved credit card and other offers with Reply Paid envelopes.  I used to just throw them in the recycling but one day decided to return to the sender in the Reply Paid envelope.  This meant that the company had to pay the postage and also use somebody’s time to open and read the returned mail.  I did not return the application form but simply a couple of random pieces of paper such as pizza vouchers or something else equally unrelated but most importantly I included a slip of paper with the following statement typed on it:

“Give consideration to my precious time which is being wasted on opening your unsolicited mail, by refraining from sending it in the future.”

Although my name was not on any of the returned information the company were able to decipher my information from the embedded barcode on the Reply Paid envelope.  The offers ceased quite quickly.  Within 3-4 months of initiating this strategy my unsolicited mail went from an average of 2 pieces per week to nothing and has remained that way for a number of years.

No unsolicited mail saves me time, mental energy and frustration.  The trees and paper that are not used are also significant over time.