According to the United States Postal Service, 48% of all mail is “junk mail.” What a waste! What can you do about all of this junk mail? Here are a few options:

Send It Back

Whenever I get a piece of junk mail with a postage-paid envelope inside, I put all of the materials that came with the mail into the postage-paid envelope, empty all of my pennies into the envelope, seal it up, and write in big block letters “UNSUBSCRIBE” on the outside before dropping it in the mail. This fella goes into more detail about this strategy. So far, this has only had mild success in deterring further junk mail. But, I figure if enough of us do this, it will cost the junky businesses a pretty penny, and eventually, they will stop filling our landfills with this crap.

Opt Out

The Federal Trade Commission has put together a little guide on how you can opt out of prescreened offers of insurance and credit. Basically, you can call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT or visit For mail not covered by these opt-out programs, contact the mailer directly. I’ve had some success with this. Although, I did get into a rather heated argument with Lane Community College. They continue to send me the massive print version of their online course catalog every quarter. Yet, I have no interest in them. Shame on you, Lane Community College!

Burn It!

After a few cocktails (or possibly glasses of boxed wine), Erin told me that for her birthday she wanted a device that would turn our junk mail into bricks. So, I got her the 4-in-1 Paper Log Maker. She’s used it maybe once. It was another in a long list of terrible gifts I’ve bought her. Yet, it might be the right option for someone like you.

As a responsible consumer, it is your duty to keep junk mail from ending up in landfills. Start with the above options. If you have other ideas for what to do with junk mail, please share them below!