- Politics and Social Issues
No Junk Mail, Please
Say NO to junk mail
I hate junk mail. I don't want it, I don't need it, I NEVER buy anything advertised. Yet, it still ends up in my mailbox.
Junk mail levels are reaching epic proportions. Each year, millions of trees are cut down to print it and yet surveys say that 44% of junk mail is thrown away unopened. Tons of printed advertisements are sent directly to landfills. During your lifetime, you'll spend hours sorting through the junk. It is harmful, unnecessary, unwanted.
Say NO to junk mail!
Junk mail nightmares
Environmental impact of unsolicited mail
I should probably start with the noble reasons why junk mail is bad for you.
First of all, think of all the trees. Statistics change from source to source, but whatever the actual figure, it is always enormous. I mean it! If you planted all the trees cut for flyers and other advertising junk in one place, you could probably hide a small country in the resulting forest, quite comfortably too. All of the above happening in the times of unprecedented, human-generated carbon dioxide emission level. We could use those trees, you know?
Next, all those (mostly unopened and unread) junk mail 'messages' have to go somewhere. In most cases - they go straight to the landfills. Many people don't even bother to recycle them. You may have heard a thing or two about how extremely full the landfill are getting in modern world. We are a junk-producing species, ladies and gentleman. We produce tons, billions of tons of rubbish and discard it rather effortlessly. Waste companies do a good job of removing the nasty garbage out of our sight, but unfortunately it doesn't mean that the junk disappears. We are drowning in trash and junk mail makes for a good percentage of this trash.
Don't you feel it's all terribly arrogant? The advertisers are aware of the statistics. They know that most of the unsolicited mail they send will never bring them any customers, but will surely cause environmental damage. They don't seem to care, though. It's all about the money and who cares if the Earth is being turned into a gigantic rubbish dump?
Unfortunately, you can not stop the disease at the source - you can not force companies to stop advertising (sometimes I dream I could... Wonderful dream but mind you, sometimes I also dream of being a millionaire or of becoming a rock star. Not likely). But you CAN take action at your own backyard or, to be precise, mailbox.
Would you exchange these for your daily flyer?
Who knows, there still might be places left in the world where junk mail is not a problem.
Are you receiving junk mail?
One more reason to stop junk mail...
What can be more annoying than a thick bunch of unwanted advertising delivered straight to your door?
Junk mail is so. extremely. massively. mouth-frothingly. irritating!!!!!!!!
I passionately hate advertising. The main reason: there's simply too much of it everywhere. Secondary reason: marketing language. I always have a feeling that marketers treat their target audience like some total idiots, ready to swallow the most obvious lie. One day I might become zen-like and stop frothing when I see the very word 'sale', but right now I just can't look at this BS and remain calm. It is bad enough on the streets and in the papers (I got rid of the TV many years ago), but when it comes directly to your mail box, it's simply outrageous.
I am worried by all those marketing companies knowing my address.
I am irritated when I have my mailbox cluttered by this maculature.
I am extremely resentful to having something forced on me against my will.
You may be an entirely different human being, but I am yet to meet someone who would actually enjoy receiving junk mail. Of all the people I've ever met, reactions to unsolicited mail varied from fury (like me!) to - at best - indifference.
It's time to say no to this rubbish!
I am not the only one saying 'no' to junk mail
What can you do to stop junk mail?
Protect your mailbox from unsolicited mail
Ok, so what can you actually do to minimise the flow of junk mail?
- Put a 'no junk mail' sticker on your mailbox. It should at least minimize the amount of rubbish mail received. I know personally of marketing companies who completely ignore the warning ("Oh, sure, I respect that, but OUR brochures are not junk mail!", but most should get the message
- Contact the main villains. Again, it is not guaranteed to work, but intelligent companies get the message (there's no point in irritating potential clients)
- Check for any official bodies regulating flow of personal data in your area. Request to have your name removed from any marketing databases they have access to. WARNING: I have actually seen a website offering to remove your name from the list for a $1 fee. This is outrageous and probably illegal too. Marketing companies don't have any rights to your name and address and if they access it, it means a) they got hold of it illegally b) you have agreed to it somewhere somehow AND you can request to have your name removed from their lists ANYTIME. Please don't fall for this trick. $1 may not be much, but it's a question of principles!
- Take care giving your personal data to anyone or .signing up for any service. Especially with all sorts of online forms. They often include the question 'Do you agree for us contacting you for marketing reasons?' and it usually is ticked by default (so yo have to manually un-tick it if you don't want to be sent junk mail)
- Express your disagreement in any way you can. If you are a webmaster - publish a page. If you are a journalist - write an article. Whatever you do, you surely have a way to spread the message. Once advertisers realise that sending junk mail repels potential customers instead of bringing them in, they might change their ways.
- Don't buy from junk mail suppliers. Don't support the villains with your cash. It may not always be possible, but if you have a choice - choose someone else
Junk Mail Debate - Your opinion on junk mail
Defend it, if you dare. Or add another voice to the avalanche
Do you approve of junk mail?
Free no junk mail stickers
Why don't you put one on your mailbox?
Here's my bit of work to stop the flow of unsolicited mail: I have created some graphics to put on junk-unfriendly mailboxes.
The following four polaroid pictures are my little gift to all junk mail fighters. Use them as you wish - print and put on your own mailbox or pass them on.
They were designed for 700x200 px size, to once saved to disk, re-size them for the best effect.