Unwanted Holiday Junk Mail? Opt Out!

Believe it or not, Christmas is coming.

At least, that’s what retail companies will have you think. And we all know what that means: ‘tis the season for the onslaught of catalogues and junk mail.

If you’re like me, you already receive notices of upcoming sales and new product information for the companies you patronize via email. I don’t mind these (the same way I don’t mind my favorite local pizza place texting me their weekly specials). It’s green, takes only a few seconds to scan and delete if desired, and doesn’t clog up my mailbox. What irks me is when I receive said emails just to get the mail and find a 50 page, 10 pound catalogue from the same company, announcing the same sale. Not needed.

In my attempt to live simply (and economically), I do my best to go into each holiday season with a concrete purchasing plan and a budget that doesn‘t take well to impulse buying. I don’t need the temptation of darling Santa pajamas and scented pine candles and eight-piece exclusive reindeer place settings taunting me in all their glossy full-color glory as I walk from the mailbox. (Even though, yes, I really do want those things. How lame am I?)

The solution? cataloguechoice.org. Here’s how it works: sign up (it’s free and they protect your information), then select the catalogues you no longer want to receive from their extensive list. Catalogue Choice will then either contact the company for you, or send you directly to their ‘remove me from your mailing list’ email address. They even give you a pre-written explanation you can copy and paste. All you have to do is hit send and you’re done. No searching for contacts, no dialing 800 numbers. I spent 10 minutes on the website the other day and opted out of 20 catalogues that I know for a fact I would otherwise receive during the holiday season.

I made sure my favorites will still arrive in my gmail inbox, however. I wouldn’t want to deny myself the tradition of drooling over those place settings (then hitting delete).

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Amy Whitley is excited to be writing bi-weekly for the 5 Minutes for Going Green team! You can read more about her attempts at eco-living at her blog The Never-True Tales and find great places to travel with children at her review site Pitstops for Kids!.

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