How to Stop Junk Mail: Eliminating Paper Waste

Dealing with the amount of unwanted credit card, insurance, or other marketing offers appearing in your mailbox day after day is a never-ending chore. Not only does it clutter your mailbox, home and recycling bin, but the paper waste it creates is unbelievable. For every 19 pieces of mail an individual receives, only one is personal mail. The rest is considered “unwanted mail.” Source

But can you do anything about it? Yes! But it will take some time and initial effort. Junk mail can originate from many different sources. You must contact the big sources and even sometimes individual sources in order to cut down on the junk mail you are currently receiving.

The first step you can take to start receiving less junk mail is to remove your name and address from the Data and Marketing Association’s list. The “DMA” as it is known, is the United States’ largest data and marketing association. To start the process, visit and register. You will be able to choose from four categories (credit offers, catalogs, magazine offer and other mail offers) that you may or may not wish to receive mail about. Keep in mind that some of these offers may include discounts, so keep any category you may want discounts from in the future. Although this article concerns junk paper mail, you can also register your email address to avoid junk emails as well.

To eliminate insurance offers or credit card offers, visit or call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT or (1-888-567-8688). The service is run by Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion, so you can be assured your wishes to opt-out will be conveyed. Through this service, you have the option of opting out for five years through the website, or if you wish to opt out indefinitely, you can print and mail a form to the service. You may also opt back in through the website at any time.

CatalogChoice is a non-profit company that will reach out to companies on your behalf to opt-out of receiving paper mail. You can visit to sign up to cancel your incoming junk mail. You also can visit individual companies to contact them as you receive junk mail. Some examples you may receive are Valpak, MoneyMailer, and RetailMeNot.

If you’re not interested in sorting through each of these companies yourselves, PaperKarma is an app that will do a lot of this work for you. Simply take a picture of the mail you do not wish to receive, upload it to the app, and let unsubscribing work be taken care of on your behalf.

You can also download PaperKarma, an app that lets you take a photo of the unwanted mailing with your smartphone and then attempts to do all the unsubscribing work for you. PaperKarma currently charges $24.99 a year for their services and $59.99 for a lifetime subscription.