A former North Carolina mailman was recently fined $3,000 and ordered to do 500 hours of community service for cutting out the junk mail. For over seven years, no one on Steven Padgett’s route received a single pizza flyer, ‘Current Resident’ catalog or sweepstakes entry – now that’s something to be thankful for. Unfortunately, this mailman couldn’t put an end to the production of junk mail, leaving much of it in his backyard or garage, but you can. 100 million trees are chopped, processed, glossed and stuffed into US mailboxes every year. Fight back with one of the many opt out services below!

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When I ordered a Dwell subscription last year I suspiciously started getting monthly Design Within Reach, Crate & Barrel, and CB2 catalogs. Catalog Choice is a free website that allows you to select catalogs by name to eliminate some while still keeping the ones you want. Opt Out Prescreen does the same for credit card offers. DMA Choice is a service provided by the Direct Marketing Association, the people sending you half of your junk in the first place. I must say, I’m very grateful for this site – not only can you stop mail in your name, but you can opt out of any ‘Current Resident’ mail to your address with one simple click. You can get rid of ValPak mailings directly on their website as well.

41 Pounds is highly effective service that, for a fee, claims to cut your junk mail by up to 95% for 5 years, including all names at your address. $15 of the $41 enrollment fee goes directly to the non-profit of your choice. You can also join the Forest Ethics campaign to implement a nationwide Do Not Mail list, similar to the successful government Do Not Call registry. Not in the US? Canadians can try the Red Dot Campaign, and Britons can get great tree-saving advice from Stop Junk Mail. Let us know if your country has a junk mail opt out service in a comment below.

Via LA Times