About 6 months ago, I decided to I wanted to do something about the crap that was filling up my mailbox.  I’m not talking about my email inboxes.  Yes, there’s a lot of junk that finds its way in there, but unsubscribe links and filters are adequate ways to wage digital war on your email inboxes.  What I’m referring to is good old fashioned postal mail.  The thing that birthday cards from my grandmother appear in…that postcards from my mom’s world travels find their way to me.  Sadly those things are needles in the haystack of bills and just plain junk in the form of catalogs and coupons.  What I was finding was that I was simply recycling 75% of what was in our mailboxes without even looking at it for more than 5 seconds.  The issue was compounded for our family because we actually have a post office box in addition to our street mailbox. 

So what did I do about it?  Three things

First, I signed up for all the e-bills and paperless statement programs possible.  All but one of my regular bills could be eliminated this way. 1

Next, I started using Catalog Choice to eliminate unwanted catalogs.  The only catalog I still allow through is the REI catalog.

And lastly, I used the forms and contacts available on Recycle Works’ Stop Junk Mail page.  Another good link for Bay Area people is http://www.stopjunkmail.org/

While I don’t have any quantifiable data showing the reduction after these efforts, I can tell you that its less.  Certainly, I can’t remember when I threw out a pile of Pottery Barn catalogs or stack of grocery story coupons.


  1. The one holdout is our garbage service.  Come on Seacoast Disposal,get with the times