• Home Home

Homeowner shares simple solution that dramatically curbed their unwanted mail: 'The difference was night and day'

Almost 130 billion pieces of junk mail were sent by the U.S. Postal Service in 2021.

Almost 130 billion pieces of junk mail were sent by the U.S. Postal Service in 2021.

Photo Credit: iStock

There's a reason those irritating envelopes and flyers filling up your mailbox are called "junk mail" — most of it is, in fact, junk. Luckily, this Redditor has discovered a way to reduce the amount of junk they must sift through in their mailbox each year. 

The scoop

One Reddit user located in Canada shared their hack with r/ZeroWaste. They simply applied a sticker to their mailbox that said "Please Do Not Deliver Canada Post Neighborhood Mail" and had their name removed from the Canadian Marketing Association's list by filling out a short form

"In 2022, I received 144 unrequested pieces of mail," they said. "In comparison, I only received 30 unrequested pieces of mail in 2023. 

"I'm really happy with what 5 minutes to print and put a sticker on my mailbox and 1 minute to fill and submit a form did for me and I encourage you to try this on your own if you live in Canada and find junk mail to be an issue."

How it's helping

This simple hack prevented a significant amount of junk mail from materializing in this Redditor's mailbox, ridding them of the annoyance and reducing their personal waste production by a significant amount. It also took a stance against unnecessary waste produced by the organizations distributing this mail and presumably prevented certain companies from producing marketing items in their name. 

According to Eco-Cycle, an estimated 100 million trees are cut down each year solely to produce junk mail. Almost 130 billion pieces of junk mail were sent by the U.S. Postal Service in 2021. 

The average household throws away 13,000 pieces of paper each year — most of which is packaging and junk mail, according to St. Charles County

These numbers can be incredibly frustrating. But there are many ways for us to do our part in reducing waste while also asking more of the systems around us. In addition to hacks like this Redditor's, there are organizations that help us cut down on waste and maybe even earn some money from it. For example, GotSneakers will distribute your used sneakers to those in need, and ThredUP will sell your old clothes second hand. 

What everyone's saying

Redditors took to the comments section to offer suggestions for reducing junk mail and waste. 

"We … contacted the two local free weekly newspapers (mostly flyers, hardly any news) to request we get on their do-not-deliver lists. The difference was night and day," one user said. "From daily junk mail that went straight into the blue bin, to just occasional addressed mail and political flyers. I then took the addressed junk mail and worked with those senders to get off their lists."

"I'm in the US, but I was able to do something similar using OptOutPrescreen and DMA Choice," another commented. "It made a huge difference in the quantity of junk mail I receive!"

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider