- Limit junk mail from entering into your home in the first place. Simply register your preferences with the DMA (the direct mail association) and your name will be removed from the majority of direct mail lists. Go to www.dmachoice.com. Cost is $1.
- Opt out of prescreened credit card offers. This will limit the amount of junk coming into your home, prevent identity theft, and extend the life of your paper shredder too! Go to www.optoutprescreen.org.
- Do you really need 5 phonebooks when you have quick and easy access to the internet? Go to www.yellowpagegoesgreen.org to opt out of phonebook delivery.
- Sign up for electronic statements through your bank, utility company, cell phone company, credit card companies, and anyone else you do business with who offers this option. Most companies make years worth of statements available to you online, so there is no need to keep hard copies. If you don’t trust the companies to do your bookkeeping for you, it is still quite easy to download all of your statements onto your hard drive, and back up onto a thumb drive.
- On a similar note, sign up for automatic debiting or electronic bill pay for as many of your bills as possible. It is easy to set up, saves paper, saves stamps, and saves time! What’s not to love? Just set it and forget it.
By limiting the inflow of paper into your home, you will cut down on clutter and save more than just a few trees in the process:
Fully grown trees needed to make a ton of paper? 24
Gallons of oil needed to produce a ton of paper? 380
Cubic yards of waste taken up by a ton of paper? 3
Gallons of water needed to produce a ton of paper? 7,000
Kilowatts of energy needed to produce a ton of paper? 4,000