You know those obnoxious "refinance your home" or credit card scams offers that you get in the mail? This is called direct marketing, where marketers use a reduced bulk postal rate to send entire forests of paper mail to you.
So this is something you can do in response.
Find a shoebox, or a storage bin, or any cardboard box you have laying around. Fill it up with bricks, big blocks of iron, or maybe cement. Tape the box up with everyday packaging tape. Use a junkmail's postage-paid envelope and tape it neatly to the top cover of the box. NEATLY. And mail it off. Envelope revenge!
A few days later, your package shows up at the junk mailer's location, and they have to pay for every cent of delivery. Once the cost outweighs the benefit, they will stop sending out direct mail marketing material. And that is my goal.
Doing this has the following beneficial side effects:
-Since these companies pay the post office, this lightens the load taxpayers need to pay to keep the post office operating
-This creates employment opportunities. The post office keeps cutting staff because of lack of business; this gives the post office a huge source of income from the credit card scam companies.
-This will lead to more cautious bulk mailing. Maybe these junk mailers simply don't know they are annoying people? Hopefully they will learn very quickly!
-This makes me laugh maniacally, like a cartoon supervillan.
-This saves trees. Once enough of us do this, the junk mail companies will stop sending us junk. Or at least they will be more discriminate about it. It will save trees and keep the landfills empty! Yay!
-If we do this enough, the USPS will make so much money, that they will lower postage costs.
Credit for this goes to http://officeofstrategicinfluence.com/bulkmailer/'''
Alright, so the idea of sending a box full of bricks doesnt exactly pan out, because the Post Office can trash it, even if you put your address in the return section (which I was sad to find out).
So... what CAN you do about your junk mail?
There is only a few pro-active steps you can do, such as filling the junk mail envelopes with other junk mail and send it back, fill it with glitter or another irritating substance (like metal shavings), or just send it back empty. All of these will cause the companies who send out the junk mail to spend something to receive the envelopes, hoping that you bought something, but instead are rewarded with grass, or coupons to a crummy restaurant.
To do this, you should cross out the address and bar code, circle the first class postage and write "refused: return to sender". Drop in any mail box, it will be returned to the sender.
You can also return bulk mail by writing "address correction requested" on the label, then circle "address correction requested" and treat like normal.
Another tidbit that you might not know of (though not very pro-active), USPS form 1500USPS form 1500 which is basically a form to opt out of sexually explicit mail. if you write down automotive catalogs, the Post Office will not disagree with you that you feel that automotive catalogs are too sexually explicit for you.
Ont last thing... do not burn or compost junk mail. They are often colored and treated with chemicals that you dont want to burn. What you can do is make paper beads OR send it back to various companies using their very own business reply envelopes. The latter is the preferred method in my book.
Step 1: First
Get the "No Postage Necessary" envelope out of the junk mail.
Step 2: Second
Put a brick (or anything) in a box. Don't send hazardous materials (i.e. batteries), or things considered unhealthy (i.e. dirty underwear).
Step 3: Third
Tape the "No Postage Necessary" envelope neatly to the box, that way it doesn't fall off during transit.
Step 4: Fourth and Last
Put it into those blue mail boxes, the parcel dump at the post office, or in your mail box.
This is NOT illegal in any way, as long as you adhere to Step 2. Not only is this not illegal, it helps families and others. The United States postal Service employs nearly two million people. These numbers are going down drastically because of increased e-mail use. This junk mail program significantly increases USPS income generation, which allows the government to employ more people. I am pro-family, pro-jobs, and pro-America.
Do not worry about the little barcodes on the side, they hold no relevant information to yourself, they are there to tell the post office what type of postage they should have.
Junk mailers PAY about twenty cents an ounce. That means an eight pound package COSTS THEM about $25. And all of the proceeds go directly to the United States Postal Service.