Stop junk mail
Stop your junk mail and help to reduce the 21 billion items (550,000 tonnes) of junk mail that are sent out every year in the UK.
The average household dustbin is made up of a quarter paper waste. Over 5 millions of tonnes of paper ends up in the landfill every year, where it emits methane; a potent greenhouse gas.
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Normally I deal with junk mail by sending all the crap they send me right back in their own postage paid return envelope. Yes, I include my name because I want them to know who it came from so they don’t do it again. Most of the time I put whatever household trash I can cram in the envelope in it too. (The heavier it is, the more it costs for them to get it back.) I recently got a letter from Feed the Children asking for money…I dealt with them by sending this letter taped to a large bubble-wrapped “gift”:
Mr. Larry Jones
Feed The Children
P.O. Box 36
Oklahoma, OK 73101-9989
Dear Mr. Jones:
I am writing today in response to your solicitation for a gift to help feed the children. I must say that I was surprised to receive such a request. First of all, I have registered my address with the Direct Marketing Association and requested to stop all such mail offers from coming to me. Second, due to the same economic crisis that you wrote about in your letter, I too am currently unemployed and have been for the past 18 months. I am one of those hard working Americans who has found himself out of work and out of money. Needless to say, I can barely afford to feed myself, let alone some children that I do not even know. Lastly, I have never done business with you or donated anything to you, so according to North Carolina General Statutes Section 14-453(10) you have sent me an unsolicited mailing. I do find it hard to believe that a reputable company would do such a thing.
Instead of just tearing up your request and tossing it away, I actually read it. Then I became intrigued. I would really like to know where you could buy groceries to feed a family for a week for just $5. I truly want to know because I want to visit that grocery store and buy groceries for myself. At my local grocery store, they charge $5 for a watermelon.
Later I began contemplating how I’ve never donated to ANY charitable organization. These thoughts nearly consumed my entire day and then I had what some might call an epiphany. I have a small garden in my backyard, and in that garden I grew some watermelons. While I simply cannot afford to send you $5, I thought I would do the next best thing. Since you have so graciously provided me with a postage paid envelope to send you a “gift”, I decided I would do so by attaching it to a very fine North Carolina organically grown watermelon, free from pesticides, chemicals, and growth hormones. I do apologize that the watermelon doesn’t fit in the envelope. I do hope it reaches you in the same condition it left me, and that maybe it too can feed a hungry family for a week.
With Warmest Regards,
Tony D. Howell
PS I do hope you will remove me from any future mailings of this kind.
Now I haven’t heard anything back from them, but if I do, I’ll be sure to post it here!
@Tony D. Howell: Hey Tony, welcome to the site and thank you for giving me such a laugh. your approach, although a little far fetched perhaps, could surely not fail to get the message across.
Do let us know if you get any more letters from this company 🙂
Nice topic. My goal for this week is to learn more about junk mail and its environmental impact. Hopefully I will be able to stop some of the junk I get in the mail, but I wonder if there is a way to get rid of mail addressed to “Residence”?
@Ben: Hi Ben, the laws are different in each country, but hopefully you have found that out now. In the UK, around 13 billion items of unaddressed direct mail are sent out yearly.
We have an a Royal Mail Opt-Out service, but it doesn’t stop stuff addressed to ‘the householder’ or ‘the occupier’ if it has our address on it. It only stops unaddressed mail.