Tuesday, 22 November 2011

5 Top tips Re:Junk mail

How can we Reduce, Reuse and Recycle the pesky leaflets we never asked for?

Well it looks as though central government is going to try to pull together a one stop shop to allow householders to unsubscribe from junk mail once and for all in the UK.
Most of it is a waste of paper, especially if we already have the takeaway leaflet ten times over, don’t shop in the particular supermarket which has millions of deals on every week, and certainly don’t have a need for the product being advertised.
Currently the system involves contacting at least two companies – the Royal Mail, and the Mail Preference Service.

But how well will this work? I can’t honestly imagine that the local takeaways will take much notice of whether a house has signed a register or not, unless it confronts them on the doorstep!

What methods have we tried and tested already to Reduce and Reuse junk mail?

1. Put up a sign. Yes it may look like Mr Scrooge has had a hand in decorating your letterbox, but a small polite sign really can work wonders. We tried it on our letter box, simply saying, ‘No junk mail including charity textiles bags, please.’ The impact was fantastic! Until weathering gradually wore it away. So, on my To do list is: replace the sign. Some people choose durable stickers, but I liked being able to personalise my notice, as charity bags was a real issue for us, receiving up to 5 a week!

2. Catch them at it. A short conversation could flag up your property as a ‘No, thanks’ address, with that particular distributor, but probably you won’t be in, or the message won’t be passed on to the bosses.

3. Send it back. Costly in postage, but it does make a statement. Let us know if you get a response? Mrs Green at My Zero Waste probably has some great templates for returning mail, as well as sending back unnecessary packaging!

4. Chopping it up and making use of it. This was especially fun cutting out pictures of our favourite foods for a school project! Shredded coloured paper would make decorative, recyclable fillings for hampers or present boxes.

5. Crafting it. Magazines and direct mail are often printed on brightly coloured or patterned papers, so why not turn them into some beautiful paper flowers – they’ll never wilt or die,
The paper flowers are made in a similar way to making paper snowflakes, each a unique design. Then roll a sheet around a pencil, use a dab of glue or smidgen of sellotape to seal the end, and slide the pencil out, making your own stalk to attach. Paper aeroplanes and origami are also a popular activity, and cost-free!

And of course if you can’t reduce or reuse it, please recycle it. Maybe our blue boxes will be lighter once the new measure comes into play – keep your ears to the ground!

Let us know about your junk mail successes and messes below.

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