Instructables
Picture of Fight back: Return unwanted junk mail
Every day that we check our mailboxes, we have to pick out all kinds of junk mail so that we can get to our real mail.

Did you ever tear a bill in half because it was stuck to some kind of free offer?

Are you tired of the complete waste of paper and resources that junk offers produce?

Can you not get a loan to save your life, but you're pre-approved for some double-uranium card with half a million dollars in credit?

It's such a bother and I can't stand it, so here's what I do to calm my nerves and get a little revenge.
 
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Step 1: Pick out the junk

Picture of Pick out the junk
Pick out all the junk from your mail and open all the envelopes up.

What you're looking for is those "Business Reply Mail" envelopes with the paid return postage. Put these envelopes to the side.

Se that little "Postage will be paid by addressee" part? That's what you're looking for.

Step 2: The fun begins

Picture of The fun begins
Now, the businesses that send you the unwanted junk have to pay to get those envelopes back. It doesn't cost them anything if we just throw them out. What they want is for you to fill out whatever forms so you can receive whatever it is they have to offer.

But, you don't have to mail the offers back. You can send them whatever you want, and once it arrives, they have to pay for it!

Today I sent out a load of sticky candy bar wrappers. I hope they like it!

Step 3: Mail it off!

Picture of Mail it off!
Send their envelope back with whatever goodies you decide to enclose and wait for the next batch of junk mail to come!

Step 4: Don't be stupid.

Picture of Don't be stupid.
Don't be stupid.

It's fun to send them back candy wrappers or a booger stuck to an index card, but don't do anything that can get you in trouble or hurt someone else.

So, as a precaution, I'd advise you all to stay away from anything powdery, anything sharp and anything that can get people sick. It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.
CalvinH16 days ago

Putting a booger in is funny but illegal. You are passing body fluids which can carry diseases .

simes3031 year ago
What I do is put something heavy into a jiffy bag, like a brick or rock, and stick the prepaid envelope on the outside. That way they have to pay much more postage as it's really heavy.
spawncory2 years ago
Add plenty of otherjunk mail and make it really heavy beause they will have to pay for an oversize letter too!

ilpug3 years ago
One time I printed a bunch of official looking bills, each asking several hundred dollars for "wasting my valuable time", and sent them back in the free-postage envelopes.
I love this idea. My apartment building has a little basket next to the mailboxes for junk mail, and it's always overflowing with papers.

Now I can have some fun, waste spare time, and get rid of the extra trash on my desk all at once. I hope they enjoy it as much as I did.
wonder if they would ship a river rock back to them.......hmmmmm
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-stop-junk-mailers/

in sum, you can attach one of those BREs (business reply envelopes) to a box of just about anything and they have to pay for it. but take iPodGuy's advice, don't be stupid. this is the United States of Paranoia and Lawsuits we're talking about - don't get yourself in trouble.
ve2vfd6 years ago
A few years ago, I saw on the news a guy from Vermont who was heating his house with junk mail! He collected all the junk mail he could, and added his name to every junk mailing list possible by filling out those "readers information cards" in magazines. He also collected his neigbours junk mail. He used all the junk paper, rolled it into logs and burned them in his woodstove... kept his house warm all winter.
 lekke
OwinchO ve2vfd5 years ago
smart
Epic win.
8bit ve2vfd6 years ago
That = rocks.
iPodGuy (author)  ve2vfd6 years ago
That is awesome.
smattman224 years ago

Its called RECYCLING.
but that does sound fun :)

knoxarama5 years ago
This is great! I'm gonna start saving these things up right now! Screw you comcast, you'll get yours!
Slayton1015 years ago
Please note that this method is usually a complete waste of your time. Companies generally pay outside services to open and process their reply mail. They will never actually see your handiwork as the people they employ will simply throw it away. High-Volume Qualified Business Reply Mail is only 36.6¢ (See link below for verification), however, the costs may add up eventually. Companies don't pay extra for a brick compared to a blender. At a point, of something like, half a pound for some companies, the post office is unable to charge anything more for that package. You all waste more time filling up this junk and trying to be funny about it. On top of that, have you ever thought about some of the companies that do this aren't bad? Have you ever even looked at your mail offers? Do the right thing, the easiest thing, and the best thing; Call them up, or return the business reply mail and just say "Please take me off your mailing list"
Rotten1945 years ago
Kaelessin6 years ago
My dad used to tape those to bricks when he was just out of college and send em back . . . .it doesn't stop the junkmail but it sure was a laugh!
How big/heavy are we talking here as a limit? Could one, say, tape the thing to the top of a, oh, I don't know, large boulder? Or perhaps an old junk car? Or a tree? or even a nice six foot cube of (as if you could obtain such a thing) Ununoctium?
I dunno . . . .I would assume that the usps limits the size/weight of an item that you want to ship . . .an old junker car would be quite amusing though!
I went into usps.com and put in the curb weight of a tercel and it said that the limit is 70 lbs. There may be other ways with higher limits but that is the upper bound for "large packages." Now, what can I find that is 12"x12"x12" and weighs 70 lbs, eh?
Derin finfan75 years ago
Try lead.
EcoMotive5 years ago
HaHaHa this is hilarious! I'm going to check my mail right now!
SYMMETRY5 years ago
I'm so doing this from now on
love it
Trid5 years ago
This is pretty cool. Although, i could have sworn that a couple years back a guy did this and was fined, because he was abusing the junk mail service or something.
finfan76 years ago
It would be great to fill them with lead shot. The balls are small but they add up to a lot and when it gets to the junk company and, if they are stupid enough, they open it the balls go everywhere.
tdubbs866 years ago
Good idea. There are websites with a similar idea to the do not call registry and the service mentioned in another comment. They don't get it all but they try.

This video tells some of the negative facts of junkmail (i.e. we waste 70 hours of life opening junkmail)
http://www.politicommunity.com/video/video/show?id=2264381%3AVideo%3A11224
rc jedi6 years ago
ha ha! great idea! I gotta do it! thanks
Mail them rocks, because of the weight it'll probably cost them slightly more.
AndyGadget6 years ago
Does the U.S. have any equivalent of the Mailing Preference Service ? In the U.K. registering with them will stop 99.9 percent of junk mail. (It's not as much fun, though ;¬)
You're kidding, right? Um, that'd be a big no. There's no such 'service' like that in the States--eh, unless you wanna count the otherwise noble efforts of your friendly neighborhood trash man. :-) FWIW, I tried this very re-mailing method several years ago. Kept it up for a pretty good while, too. When it made no difference whatsoever in the amount of 'bulk' which ended up in my mailbox, I started pulping it and turning it into "firebricks." The only other way to get rid of it is to move, and to be VERY selective about who gets your new address. Personal information is a form of property--a very valuable form at that. One should treat it as such. DON'T give out your address (or any other personal info, for that matter), unless a retailer, government agency, etc. "absolutely" needs it to conduct business or to comply with the law. Even then, investing in a post office box for some forms of mail wouldn't be a bad idea, either.
You could use it to make Paper-crete. Just think of all the tons of that junk that could be put to something useful.