Stopping junk mail aka paper spam

There’s a petition out at Do Not Mail: The Petition that’s intended to convince Congressional leaders of the need for a Do Not Mail Registry that provides a single place from which you can basically unsubscribe from all the crap that ends up in your mailbox. Sounds good to me.

But if you want to take immediate action on the junk mail, try the tips listed here:

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: Reducing Junk Mail

It’s pretty comprehensive, and includes all the following sources of junk mail:

1. Mailing lists of major national marketers
2. Flyers and advertising supplements
3. Catalog, mail order lists and magazines
4. Pre-approved offers of credit
5. Phone books and reverse directories
6. U.S. Postal Service and change of address data file
7. Charities and nonprofits
8. Sweepstakes and prizes
9. Product registration cards and consumer surveys
10. Supermarket loyalty cards
11. Public records
12. Data compilers and mailing list companies

Even if you’re not particularly keen on going through the hassle of saving paper, fuel, and energy, you should definitely deal with the credit bureaus and your own financial institutions. Those pre-approved offers and balance transfer checks are easy targets for identity theft and can screw up your credit faster than you can fix it. For the credit bureaus, go to to opt out. For your credit card and checking accounts, call the number on the back of your credit/ATM card and tell them to remove you from all mailing and phone lists and not share any information with anyone else permanently.