If you are like me, you receive pre-approved credit card applications in the mail... All the time... Every day. These credit applications promise super-low credit for a limited time only. We are all well aware that sooner or later the super low credit gets replaced by arm-and-leg credit (usually more sooner than later). The cost for credit companies to mass mail these applications is minimal to the amount of revenue that they get in return from people who actually fill these things out, return them, and then max out the cards on chocolate and potted meat. Even the people who are too smart to fill them out have to deal with the guilt of throwing these things away and crying over the amount of trees that died for our credit sins. All in all, the credit companies have nothing to lose. It's a win-win situation for these companies and a lose-lose situation for the masses. Yet, as I have discovered, there is a way to turn this around on the credit companies so that not only do they have to pay DOUBLE POSTAGE for these things, they in turn have to deal with all the environmental guilt of pitching them in the trash. This process was first demonstrated to me by my sister-in-law. It is so common-sense-spiteful, that I am ashamed for not figuring it out myself. Individually, all this will do is offer a brief amount of satisfaction. Yet in mass, this will be a real pain to the credit companies.
Step 1: Collecting Credit Applications.
This is the easiest part of this process. As a matter of fact, credit companies take care of it for you. All you need to do is get your mail.
Step 2: Open Applications and Remove Contents.
I use a sharp novelty knife that I bought at the 50% off Asian store in the mall. It is only a 2 week 50% off sale, they say, but it has been that way for 3 years now.
Step 3: Locate Enclosed Addressed Return Envelopes.
These are the most important objects to this process. Remove these and set them safely aside. You will need to use these later.
Step 4: Remove Any Mention of Your Name and Address.
This step is not very necessary. I, however, like to commit my acts of aggression in total anonymity. If you are not paranoid like I, you may skip to step 6.
Step 5: Throw Away All Evidence of Your Efforts.
If you participated in step 4, throw your contact info in the trash. As you can see, I am collecting wrapping paper, tape, Target bags, a metal rod and a disassembled scanner in my trashcan. Emptying your trash is completely optional.
Step 6: Shred All Contents.
Rip all contents of the applications, special offers and pictures that were sent to you, including the horse they rode in on... err... envelopes they arrived in. Remember NOT to include the return envelopes from step 3 in the massacre of the other contents.
Step 7: Help the Return Envelopes Pack for a Small Trip.
Stuff all that shredded stuff into the return envelopes. At this point, you may also include other trash that you have lying around, pictures of dogs, cereal UPCs, newspaper clippings of local stories, etc. It is safe to know what you are not allowed to mail through the US Postal service, then not include those items.
Step 8: Seal Envelopes.
Lick 'em and seal 'em. Lick 'em and seal 'em. Lick 'em and seal 'em. I just like saying "lick 'em". They are now ready to be dropped in the mailbox and sent back to a mail room full of people who are not expecting to have to sort through confetti.
Step 9: Finishing Up.
At this point all you need to do is mail them. Remember that the credit companies pay the return postage and you do not need a stamp.
If enough people adopt this method of rebellion, the credit companies may begin to rethink their strategies of mass advertising. Probably not, but at least we are giving back to them the trash that they have given to us for so long. It is now their responsibility to worry about recycling!
(Many, many, many people have commented that you can tape the envelopes to bricks or other heavy objects to run up the postage rates that the companies have to pay. I feel that I should point out that the bricks NEVER get delivered and the companies DO NOT pay for them. The postal service has regulations on the size of the envelopes as well as the weight. If the package exceeds the correct size and weight, the USPS DOES NOT DELIVER IT & THE COMPANY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SHIPPING CHARGES! This was put into place to keep people from mailing bricks and other heavy objects.)
Participated in the
The Instructables Book Contest