General ramblings

Junk Mail….

Being the good and dedicated Waste Watcher that I am, today I was leafing through WEEK 1 of Karen Cannard’s Rubbish Diet Challenge….

There are loads of great tips on there about how to Slim Your Bin, but it was Chapter 4, Say NO to Junk Mail that caught my eye.

I know it can all be recycled, but junk mail is really annoying.

junk mail

So, I am cracking down on junk mail. And if you want to too, then here’s how!

To get your name removed from mailing lists.

There are several ways to do this:

You can phone: Registration Line 0845 703 4599

You could be crazy and write…Address: FREEPOST 29 LON20771, London, W1E 0ZT

Or you can fax:020 7323 4226

Or e-mail:

Or you can do what I did and go online:

It took all of about 2 mniutes-hurrah! According to Karen’s post it can take up to 4 months to see the full effect of registering, BUT your name will be removed from 95% of UK mailing lists

  • Opt out of Royal Mails door to door service

ie all the crap the poor postie has to lug around, for you to then just put straight in the recycling…

You can write to them at:

Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Outs


Kingsmead House

Oxpens Road



Or you can do what I did and e-mail them:

I got a response the same day. Warning me of all the dire things that might happen should I choose to pot out. Like not getting anymore crappy mail I don’t want…

You then have to download a form to fill out and send off.

junk mail1

So they like to make it as difficult as possible..!

  • Phone directories

Does anyone actually use them anymore?  You can ask not to be sent one by ringing up each company:

BT Phone book: 0800 833 400

Yellow Pages: 0800 671 444

Thomson Local: 01252 555 555

And if you have some at home sitting gathering dust, they can be recycled at your local household waste centre

Which has some great resources:

You can buy ‘No Junk Mail’ stickers for £0.90 to put on your front door/letterbox, OR you could just make your own..!

And it has links to the JunkBuster widget (I have no idea what a widget is I’m afraid) that apparently allows you to opt-out of up to 6 junk mail suppliers in one go.

The scary stat attached to this is that by doing so you could save on 11kgs of junk mail a year….

  • Catalogues

If you are an avid shopper (not of the charity shop variety…) and get lots of catalogues, I’m afraid it is a case of collecting them all up, and then spending half an hour ringing them all up to ask them to take you off their mailing list.

  • Switch to paperless billing

And finally, it’s not really junk mail, but you can cut down on the paper in your post box by switching your bank account, and utilities, to paperless billing.

So come on then, who is with me in Saying No to Junk Mail..?!

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  • Reply My Waste Watcher’s update « My Make Do and Mend Year February 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    […] And I have signed us up to the Mail Preference Service to stop the pesky junk mail. You can read all about how to do this, in this awesome post here. […]

  • Reply Chris January 29, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Did you know that the Royal mail Opt Out only lasts 2 years then it must be renewed. My biggest battle is with the people that deliver council and parish council news sheets they can never understand you don’t want it. I am always told that they must deliver it even if there is a sticker on the letter box. Come on councils get upto date ‘post infomation on the web’. I always return to sender any unwanted catalogues saying on the back that if I receive any more I will not purchase from the company anymore, and
    I don’t even if it is inconvenent. I think junk mail should be banned it costs us all money to recycle it.

    • Reply Jen January 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      I didn’t know it only lasted 2 year Chris. Gosh, they like to make it difficult don’t they?
      I agree, junk mail should be banned. Would be interested to know if anyone has ever looked into how much, if any, business is generated off the back of it…

  • Reply jhwilliams70 January 29, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Thank you so much for the bit about Royal Mail and the telephone directories! As we are the last house on the street, we always appear to get what is left of the postie’s crap swag as I call it! Usually I put it all int a virgin media envelope and return to Royal Mail! I will do this and bear the brunt of not receiving Royal Masil rubbish!!!!!!! Thanks again!!!

    • Reply Jen January 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Happy to help!

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo January 29, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I heard about an idea that was given out on one of those morning TV chat shows that Ive been doing for ages. I call it ‘redirecting your spam’.
    If you get some kind of application in the mail that you havent requested, cross through it all (so no-one can use it fradulently), fold all the stuff that comes with it and put it all back into the reply paid envelope and send back to them, stating you want them to remove you from their mailing list!
    They have paid for the postage (and chances are they havent put enough on so it will cost them to retrieve it – so it usually prompts them to remove your name a bit quicker than usual). Its a bit cheeky, but so are they by sending you unsolicited mail! :o)

    • Reply hmk71 January 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      I’ve done that, especially with credit card applications. I had a long running battle with American Express including several phone calls (they actually had a special department- press X for the usual services, press 9 for junk mail, basically). At one point they told me they couldn’t remove me from their mailing list because I had never had a credit card with them…
      It was a battle, but I haven’t had any application forms from them for a couple of years now.

      • Reply Jen January 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

        Not sure why they have to make it so hard. can’t they see that all they have done is annoy you to the point that you will almost certainly never take a card out with them!!

    • Reply Jen January 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Jo
      Janine left a link to something suggesting something similar (you will find it if you scroll through the comments), but attaching the envelope to some actual junk, like an old tyre..!!

  • Reply hmk71 January 29, 2013 at 6:25 am

    One of the dire warnings is not getting important info from the council etc, I heard. Is that true? Or is that important a la Napoleon and only important to the sender? Don’t want to end up off the electoral roll or something…

    • Reply Jen January 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      As far as I am aware, it only means you don’t stuff that has no address on it. Will check it out!

  • Reply Heather January 28, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    This was my New Years resolution and I must admit the junk mail does seem to have lessened, I have also been busy in subscribing to loads of emails too, which although are paperless consume time!!

    • Reply Jen January 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      Good to hear it seems to work Heather!

  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) January 28, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I’ve been meaning to opt out for ages you’ve spurred me on to do it tomorrow its my day off… no excuse now you’ve given all the info… 12 pieces in ONE day is my record, hate the waste of it all even though you & I recycle not everyone else does !!!

    • Reply Jen January 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      It also still takes energy to recycle it, and what a meaningless use of perfectly good trees! Let me know how you get on 🙂

  • Reply daisymarmalade January 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I opted out of Royal Mail at our old house junk but the postman kept shoving it through the door. He was a very friendly postie so when we got chatting one day I mentioned it. He said that the sorting office put some kind of note on the post for his round advising which addresses have opted out of junk and that we weren’t on the list for his round. Might be a good idea to check with your postie when they have had time to process the request. 🙂

    • Reply Jen January 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks for letting me know. Will check with our postie in a bit 🙂

  • Reply janinewoodward (@craftyactivist) January 28, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Totally agree with you Jen. There is also this somewhat cheeky, but funny, idea that came out of Howies –

    I’d love to have some tyres kicking around just to send them back as junk mail to …… I’ll leave the companies nameless just in case of a lawsuit 😉 !!

    • Reply Jen January 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      Love it!!

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