Reduce Your Junk Mail in Just 5 Minutes November 3, 2022 Email Junk mail may seem like just a nuisance cluttering up your mailbox, but all those catalogs and ads take a toll on the environment. More than 100 million trees’ worth of bulk mail arrive in American mailboxes. Where does it end up? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that 60% of all junk mail ends up in the landfills and is not recycled. That adds 1 billion pounds of waste to landfills each year. Approximately 44% of junk mail goes to the landfills where it produces methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The junk mail’s annual carbon footprint creates 51.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases each year – equivalent to the emissions generated by heating about 13 million homes during the winter, according to the nonprofit ForestEthics. You may think you don’t have time to tackle that pile of credit card offers and coupons on the kitchen table, but here are two simple ways you can cut down on the bulk of your junk mail in just minutes. These two options are online services you can use to have your name removed from catalog, credit card lists, and other database lists. Option 1: CatalogChoice HOW IT WORKS After you join this free website (not an app), simply search for the type of junk mail you are already being marketed to and want to avoid: catalog, credit card offers, phone book, or charity donation request. Pick a mailing option (no delivery, delivery two or four times a year, etc.), and CatalogChoice will send the request to the company for you. Your CatalogChoice dashboard lists the companies and organizations they have contacted and updates you when a company has confirmed your request – so you don’t have to keep track of all that information yourself. Since Catalog Choice is a non-profit organization, unaffiliated with the mail marketing industry, they accept donations to keep this service going. WHO SHOULD USE IT Anyone who wants to manage their junk mail through a website, doesn’t have a smartphone or wants to support a nonprofit junk-mail-reduction service. Option 2: PaperKarma HOW IT WORKS Much like CatalogChoice, PaperKarma forwards a request to the companies sending you junk mail and monitors all your requests for you. But, while CatalogChoice only operates as a website, PaperKarma is a free app, available for Android, iOS and Windows smartphones. However, they have the free option is limited, and allows you only 4 free submissions. Then, at that point, you will be prompted to pay for the subscription and offers 4 different pricing options from monthly, 6 months, annually, or lifetime. The process to submit a request is convenient and fast: Just snap a photo of your address on the piece of junk mail, and PaperKarma will take care of the rest. WHO SHOULD USE IT The smartphone addict, the super busy person that wants to save time and someone that likes to use smartphone applications. With whichever service you choose, remember to be patient in your quest to reduce your junk mail: It may take a few months to start seeing results, since many mailing labels are printed ahead of time.