Works For Me Wednesday: A Quick Fix for Junk Mail

It clutters our family’s mailbox and rapidly fills our recycling bin, but who has time to actually contact every source for this mass of wasted paper?  Lately I find myself spending ten minutes a day reading and shredding piles of envelopes. That’s time I’d much rather spend sorting through matchbox cars with my toddler.  Enough!  I finally developed a few solutions to stop the endless stream of junk mail flooding into our home. Less Junk Mail=More Play Time!

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Opt Out:  I didn’t think I had the twenty minutes it took to print and fill out the online forms available at Opt-Out, but then I realized that I spend twice that amount of time each week shredding junk mail and tromping out to the recycling bin.  It’s worth a little effort to get the time savings in the long run!

When I finally went to the Opt-Out website I found the process surprisingly easy. The site will let you fill in your information and then formulate dated, addressed letters to seven different marketing networks and credit reporting agencies. I then simply printed out the letters, addressed the envelopes and sent them off with my own postage.

The site also has the Opt-Out telephone number listed to get you off the phone solicitation list.  No more calls during dinnertime or when Roscoe is in the middle of a diaper change! It also prevents me from tersely interrupting the telemarketer and bitterly informing him or her never to call my number again.  (Which isn’t easy for a generally congenial person like myself.)

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Just Say No:  I have a secondary strategy to rid our family of excess mailings now that I feel freedom is in sight.  I just printed up a bunch of quick notes to send in the postage-paid envelopes that are often enclosed with junk mailings. Feel free to copy the text of the note below. You’ll notice that it’s a bit snarly, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get off the list!

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like my name to be removed IMMEDIATELY from your mailing list.  Rather than spending your organization’s time and energy sending me mail that is of no interest to me, please stop sending me any offers from this point on.  If you do not concede with my request, I will be forced to make further and more forceful complaints. I expect you to honor my wishes.

 Sincerely,

(Include your name and address)

Or Say No Nicely:  Here’s a note to send to charities that load you up with junk mail.  It sounds a bit less hostile, but still works:

To Whom It May Concern: 

Surely your charity wants to put its limited resources to the best possible use.  I would like to be removed from your mailing list.  My family has chosen to focus our giving on a few organizations and yours is not one of them.  Please help us limit waste and save your charity’s time and money by honoring our wishes.

Sincerely, 

(Include your name and address) 

You can fit about four of these notes per printed page and easily have a stack ready to shove into envelopes when the junk mail arrives.  Then just sit back, relax and watch those heaps of incoming mail slowly dwindle.  Ahhh….  If you want even more tips on how to make your life easier, go to Rocks in My Dryer for more “Works for Me Wednesday” ideas.  And don’t forget to check yesterday’s post for tips on how your cleaning closet confessions can win you some free Shaklee products.  Register and spill your deepest cleaning secrets today! 

How to Recycle Your Clutter

My basement is a level of hell where all my failings as an environmentalist are revealed.  Up above this musty, dank repository of castaway boxes, Christmas decorations, charity donations, and mismatched pots and pans lies a perfectly ordered house.  In fact, the first thing most people do upon entering my humble abode is marvel at the sheer emptiness of it.  “Where’s your stuff?” they ask.  I just offer a smug smile in return, affecting an air of effortless minimalism. 

Where’s my stuff?  It’s in the basement.

Sorting through the contents of my basements was akin to doing an archeological dig, uncovering remnants of my wedding and my baby’s first year.  I’d thought a lot about the environmental impact of bringing a baby into the world.  I limited the baby gear that entered our home and bought much of what we did want at secondhand stores. 
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We’re (A Bit) Famous!: Greenbabyguide.com Makes it to T.V.

Greenbabyguide.com was featured on Better Portland’s Surfin’ with Steph segment as a cyber pick just a few weeks ago.  How exciting!   The February 15th show included bits on G-diapers, eco-friendly cleaning products, and greener baby shower gifts, along with a very positive review of greenbabyguide.com.

Imagine your baby here!

If you would like a small brush with fame, please consider being a part of our website.  We would love to incorporate photos of your child eating, enjoying nature, or doing anything else green (composting, gardenting, recycling, etc) into our blogs.  Please email the photo to us at greenbabyguide@gmail.com and include your child’s first name, if you want it posted as well.  

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A Green Resolution: Switching to Eco-friendly Toilet Paper

This year, I solemnly resolve to switch from planet-killing conventional toilet paper to eco-friendly recycled toilet paper.  Most of my green practices end up saving me money: buying secondhand, eating lower on the food chain, and conserving electricity.  However, every once in a while my frugality and eco-consciousness conflict.  I just couldn’t fathom spending extra money on something like toilet paper. 

I already avoided buying almost all other paper products, so I figured I was doing enough.  I had this nagging feeling, though, that my T.P. preferences needed to change.  But why?  Would buying recycled toilet paper make much of a difference?  I learned that we wipe out virgin forests by supporting conventional brands.  Read more about it here.
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