(WXYZ) - Most of us are getting fewer and fewer bills and letters in our mailbox these days. Despite the postal service handling less mail every year, there is one type of mail that’s still on the increase, and that’s junk mail. One man decided to collect it all to see how much he really gets.
Doug Wiegand can literally walk across a carpet of mail. No, he’s not a hoarder: he just wanted to find out how much junk mail he receives.
"I'm sick of getting a lot of junk mail every time I walk out to my mailbox," Wiegand says. So he began to collect it.
“Anything I’d identify as junk mail, I’d put in a box in a corner in my kitchen,” Wiegand says.
From Earth Day in April last year to Earth Day this year – exactly one year – Wiegand received 65 pounds of junk mail. A Macy’s one day sale on one side, a Chase credit card offer on the other, and a couple of guitar center sales in the middle. He says there should be an easy way to say you don’t want it.
"I think that's kind of an unfortunate situation that you actually have to take the time to opt out instead of opting in and saying yeah I do want your coupons or I do want your catalogs. It's the opposite and it creates a lot of waste,” Wiegand says.
You can stop much of this mail, but it takes some effort, and may cost a few dollars. Several websites will block catalogs. They include catalogchoice.org , dmachoice.org , and greendimes.com . To stop credit card offers, call 1-855-5OPT-OUT. But when you call 1-855-5OPT-OUT, you have to give your social security number. That’s the only way credit card companies know you from all the other people with your same name.
The FTC also offers some good tips on how to stop unwanted phone calls and junk mail. Click here for that link to that webpage.
Wiegand is giving some of those ideas a try. But if you just don't have the time to take care of this yourself, a local company will do it for you. Five years ago, brothers Shane and Sander started 41pounds.org , that's how much junk mail it's estimated we each get every year. For 24 dollars, they'll call companies and write others to clear the clutter. They say it will eliminate 85 to 90 percent of your junk mail for five years.
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