Take an active stand

One of the great advantages of living in a free society is the ability each of us has is to influence others through how we live, what we say and the actions we take.

You can be an activist for the source reduction cause by putting these freedoms to work in the battle to cut waste.

We all have the power to help create the type of world we want to live in and eventually leave behind for our children.

Start by stopping junk mail

Every year, Americans receive about four million tons of junk mail. Even though a full 44 percent is never opened or read, Americans will still spend eight months of their lives dealing with junk mail.

In fact, the junk mail all of us receive in one day could produce enough energy to hear 250,000 home if more than half of it didn’t end up in a landfill.

Often organizations you belong to, places where you have credit, periodicals you subscribe to and manufacturers you return warranty cards to sell names to other organizations, creditors and periodicals who’d also like to get you to join their group, borrow their money or buy their products.

You can get a grip on your junk mail, though

Write the Mail Preference Service.

It’s a division of the Direct Marketing Association, 11 W. 42nd St., P.O. Box 3861, New York, NY 10163-3861. Ask for a name removal card. They’ll put your name on a "delete" file sent out four times a year.

Check with credit bureaus.

Send a written request to be removed from each bureau’s direct-marketing file.

To find out which companies have already purchased your name from the credit bureau, request a copy of your credit report and look for the section called "Promotions," PRMO" or "Companies that requested your credit report." The three largest credit bureaus are:

Equifax Options
Equifax Marketing Decision Systems, Inc.
P.O. Box 74023
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
Phone: 404-885-8309

Trans Union
Transmark, Inc.
555 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661
Phone: 312-431-5101

Target Marketing Services Division
12606 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75243
Attention: Mail Preference Service
Phone: 214-235-1200

Don’t send in warranty cards on new purchases.

You’ll still be covered by the warranty. Manufacturers only use the cards as ways to get your name and find out more information about you, which they in turn sell.

Many warranty cards go to a marketing company. You can ask to be removed from the lists it sells to over companies. Write:

Chris Courtemanche
National Demographics & Lifestyles
List Order Services
1621 18th St. #300
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 800-525-3533

Contact mailing list brokers

Write and ask for your name to be put on a suppress file. Three of the biggest brokers are:

R. L. Polk and Company
List services Division
6400 Monroe Blvd
Taylor, MI 48180
Phone: 800-873-7655

Donnelley Marketing
1235 N Avenue
Nevada, Iowa 50201-1419
Phone: 515-382-8202

MetroMail Corp
901 W. Bond
Lincoln, NE 68521
Phone: 800-426-8901

Get an unlisted phone number

A certain amount of junk mail come from lists developed using telephone books. An unlisted number is just a few dollars more a month.

Print personal checks without phone numbers.

Consider removing your name from reverse phone books

These are lists indexed by number. However, reverse phone books sometimes have a good public-safety use. Police sometimes use them in emergencies. Publishers are:

R. L. Polk (address above)

Haines & Company, Inc.
Criss-Cross Directory
2382 E. Walnut Ave. East
Fullerton, CA 92631
Phone: 714-870-8151

Write for information on the "Junk Mail Prevention Kit"

Available from

K. D. Enviro-Ventures
5235 Roland Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46208

The kit includes eight pre-written postcards and 88 return stickers.

Don’t subscribe to magazines or order from catalogs

Noticing a reduction in the amount of junk mail you receive will take about six months. But if only 100,000 people took this action, we could save about 150,000 trees every year. If a million people stopped their junk mail, we could save 1.5 million trees

Keep the momentum going



Gov. Frank O’Bannon
State House
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone 317-232-4567

Indiana Legislative Services Agency
230 State House
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Indiana House of Representatives
Democratic phone: 800-382-9842
Republican phone: 800-382-9841






SOURCE: The Consumer’s Handbook for Reducing Solid Waste. Washington DC, U. S. EPA, August 1992