How to stop (nearly) all junk mail is easier than you think. The average person gets a whole tree’s worth of junk mail each year, and the silver lottery winning envelopes and plastic window envelopes can’t be recycled. But because a tiny percentage of people do respond, it makes it financially worthwhile for the junk mail companies to continue.
Don’t fill in surveys or respond to competitions or lotteries you did not enter. Don’t give your details to anyone, and don’t shop at companies that ask you tick a box, not to send on your details. One person suggests using a different middle initial on anything you have to complete. That way if you do get junk mail, you will know who it is from. Also tell your bank not to sell your details.
Everyone must legally have their details on the local Electoral Register. But you can opt out of the open register, which can be bought by others, to sell to others.
- Mailing Preference Service is worth it up to a point. But it only stops junk mail from registered companies. Likewise the Baby Mailing Preference, Fax Preference Service and Bereavement Register.
- Stop Junk Mail is packed with info on how to stop unaddressed mail (like from Royal Mail) and to stop unwanted phone directories. In New Zealand, anyone can order a Letterboxer (a sticker to refuse junk mail) and people get into trouble, if they don’t abide.
- Join the campaign at Think Jessica (started by the mother of a woman bombarded with junk mail from lotteries and fake clairvoyants, who almost lost her life savings). It wants notices in banks to warn vulnerable people, power of attorney for concerned relatives, and the power for postal staff (often the only ones aware) to notify someone, if concerned.
- We all like to give to charity. But most of us prefer to give small amounts to different ones, and not get bombarded with requests, following from one donation. Which ones to choose, when we are getting requests from hundreds, like happens with some vulnerable people. Only give to small charities and humane medical charities, as they won’t sell your name on. You can also set up an anonymous charity giving account at Charities Aid Foundation, to give as you please, without anyone notifying or contacting you thereafter.