With the holiday season approaching, I've begun to dread opening my mailbox as I've come to expect a stack of unwanted catalogs each day. A few weeks ago, I started keeping the back pages of the catalogs, planning to contact these companies and request that I be removed from their mailing lists.
I figured and hoped there would be a simple online one-stop solution where I could relatively quickly remove myself from all of these lists. A quick Google search turned up Catalog Choice - a sponsored project of the Ecology Center. It's a free service that provides a directory of catalogs for you to search or browse and quickly unsubscribe yourself from each company's list.
In less than 15 minutes I removed myself from over 40 catalog lists and figure that after doing this a few more times in the coming months, I'll be removed from almost all of these lists. In the process of doing this, and in the spirit of simplifying and scaling down a bit, I ended up deciding to remove my name from all of the catalogs that I get (not just the ones I so obviously don't want like The Great American Hanger Company or Allen Brothers Steaks). Basically, I have no shortage of buying opportunities as it is - if there's something I need or want, I can go online or shop locally. At the least it will mean less paper in our house, at best it might mean a bit less crap generally as I avoid a bit of impulse shopping.
Between using Catalog Choice and registering with the DMA to have my name removed from mailing lists that are sold to marketers, I'm hoping that my mailbox will soon be emptied of the unwanted content.
Check it out - seems like fairly low-hanging fruit to help the environment.