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Don’t Let Junk Mail Get You In A Funk - 5 Easy Steps To Reducing Unwanted Paper & Virtual Mail

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Junk Mail. I don’t like it. No one likes it. Whether it’s an inbox full of promotional emails that you don’t remember signing up for (usually with a ‘Buy Now’, ‘!!!!!’, kind of vibe), or a wedge of leaflets thumping onto your doormat (for which the effort of bending down really does get me into a funk!).  
In addition to messing with our zen, the environmental impact of all this largely wasted energy and resource is huge. Digiwaste is now a real ‘thing’, with supercomputers working around the clock to supply the gigabytes of data needed to send us emails we neither read or need.

Sensory overload is also a ‘thing’, and one that makes me (and no doubt you) even more tired than we already are, so in this spirit it is time to take control, go all Marie Kondo-esque, and get our levels of junk well and truly shrunk!

Step 1 - Take an audit of the source of material coming through your letterbox and inbox. In our house, we were receiving brochures that we were either no longer interested in, or were happy to unsubscribe from in favour of browsing online instead. Find the contact details on the brochure, usually an email address, and request that your name be removed from the mailing list.

For us it was goodbye to Boden, Hush and Hargreaves Lansdowne (no great surprise that this last page-turner was always placed unsullied into recycling).

Repeat the above process with your inbox and unsubscribe from emails that are not relevant/ don’t interest you. The vast majority of emails will have an unsubscribe button at the bottom. A simple click and you are free! 

Step 2 - Switch your house admin (banking, bills etc) to online only. If you have an online account set up for these services, then you can usually request to view statements etc online only, thus saving the need for a monthly paper copy to be sent. (Imagine a magical world with no plastic windowed envelopes?!).

Step 3 - Opt out of unaddressed door to door mail items from Royal Mail by downloading, printing, and sending FREEPOST the form on the link below. This will stop batches of random leaflets dropping through your door with your normal post, like the Hilary’s Blinds one I have just received (the form takes a few weeks to ‘kick-in’).

https://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/D2D-Opt-Out-Application-Form-2015.pdf

Step 4 - Register on the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) to have your name removed from direct mailing lists. These are the lists typically bought and used by companies for marketing purposes. Just complete the easy online form on the link below (Royal Mail could take a leaf out of their book!).

https://www.mpsonline.org.uk/consumer/register

Step 5 - Add a No Junk Mail sticker to your front door. I purchased one from http://www.no-junk-mail.co.uk/ £1.85. This will (by and large) stop delivery of fast food leaflets, charity bags and other door to door junk mail.

Let me know how you get on, and if you have any additional tips to share, please do comment below.

References
www.theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2019/nov/26/pointless-emails-theyre-not-just-irritating-they-have-a-massive-carbon-footprint

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  1. Angela

    I just took a moment away from work to read your blog and had not realised that Digiwaste was a thing or that you could stop unwanted leaflets coming through the door. I have signed up to the royal mail link and MPS online to see how it goes. I'll also take a look at my email ... thanks for the steer. Back to work now!

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