Reduce Your Junk Mail in 5 Minutes

Junk mail may seem like just a nuisance cluttering up your mailbox, but all those catalogs and ads take a toll on the environment. More than 100 million trees are cut down each year to make all junk mail in the U.S., and junk mail’s annual carbon footprint is equal to the greenhouse gases released while heating 13 million homes during the winter, according to nonprofit ForestEthics. You may think you don’t have time to tackle that pile of credit card offers and coupons on the kitchen table, but here are two simple ways you can cut down on the bulk of your junk mail in just minutes.

Option 1: CatalogChoice

HOW IT WORKS
After you join this free website, simply search for the type of junk mail you’re looking to avoid: catalog, credit card offer, phone book or charity donation request. Pick a mailing option (no delivery, delivery two or four times a year, etc.), and CatalogChoice will send the request to the company for you. Your CatalogChoice dashboard lists the companies and organizations they have contacted and updates you when a company has confirmed your request — so you don’t have to keep track of all that information yourself.

WHO SHOULD USE IT
Anyone who wants to manage their junk mail through a website, doesn’t have a smartphone or wants to support a nonprofit junk-mail-reduction service.

Option 2: PaperKarma

HOW IT WORKS
Much like CatalogChoice, PaperKarma forwards a request to the companies sending you junk mail and monitors all your requests for you. But, while CatalogChoice only operates as a website, PaperKarma is a free app, available for Android, iOS and Windows smartphones. The process to submit a request is convenient and fast: Just snap a photo of your address on the piece of junk mail, and PaperKarma will take care of the rest.

WHO SHOULD USE IT
The smartphone addict, the super busy. With whichever service you choose, remember to be patient in your quest to reduce your junk mail: It may take a few months to start seeing results, since many mailing labels are printed ahead of time.