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Fight Junk Mail.

The other day I was shown an article in the San Francisco Chronicle by David Lazarus about Paul Kameny, who saved all of the credit card solicitations during the calendar year 2002.

The scoop:

  • He was sent 217 offers for credit cards.
  • This equates to 4.173 a week, or one every 1.68 days.
  • The total amount of credit he was offered? $2.7 Million Dollars.
  • The article stated "Four billion credit card solicitations were mailed nationwide last year."
Now, the article oges on to talk about the taget market of credit cards and one provider in particluar - Providian Bank.

These fuckers sent out "mailed out roughly 200 million credit card solicitations and ended up attracting 2 million new customers." Thats 99 out of one hundred of these things getting tossedinto the trash, and we all know how much freakin' junk they send you in each envelope.

Lets assume that, for fun, each of these offers weighs half an ounce. That equates to roughly 6.25 million pounds of mail the post office moved around the country last year to all of us credit-needing adults.

Assume there were equal amounts sent each month (not really, but you konw), and thats roughly 520,000 pounds of mail in a month.

That equates to 260 TONS of mail a month.

From ONE company.

Think about it.

Now figure that 99% of that gets tossed away. This is 257.4 tons of paper a month, for a total of 3,088 tons in a year. I'm not sure what the recycling rate is nationally, but you know that its not 100%.

So what should be done with all of these extra envelopes, just sitting there waiting to become landfil?

Never fear, kids. I gots me a plan! Two, actually.

PLAN 1

What else do we get in the mail that we pretty much only care 1% about?

Paper Catalogs, that's what. We get about one of these a week, two if we're really lucky.

Being that most of these things get tossed out, adding to the landfill, we need to figure out a way to get them recycled.

HEY! Lets send them to a company! Companies have better recycling programs than most neighborhoods!

So we can do this:

  1. Get them freebie business reply envelopes from your many many offers
  2. Take all of the crap that came with it, rip away all marks that identify you
  3. Stuff is all into that envelope.
  4. Take as much of the catalog you just got and cram that into the envelope, too. Be careful not to rip the envelope, and be neat about it. We don't want to make a mess for the post office.
  5. Seal the envelope.
  6. Put the envelope in the proper mailbox.
PLAN 2
You konw how you just LOVE getting that magazine you paid for? You chose to get it and all it's juicy content. You read it on the bus, you read it at lunch, you read it in bed, and - if you're like me - you read it on the crapper.

But those magazines are just FULL of them annoying little cards that fall out all over the bathroom floor while youre trying to balance the thing on your lap, getting everywhere, and goddamnit, i ALREADY SUBSCRIBE to the magazine! Stop giving me chances to subscribe, cause I already have!

I always pull these things out as soon as I can, and you should to, but not to throw away.

One of the thing I also do is pull out all the pages that have advertisements on both sides. This makes the magazine weigh about a third of what it originally did, and if you atr humping a few of these babies around in your backpack, every ounce counts.

Now we have a big pile of stuff pulled out of magazines just waiting to be added to the landfill.

Or Not!

  1. Get that pile of advertisements and subscription cards
  2. Get them freebie business reply envelopes from your many many offers
  3. Take all of the crap that came with it, rip away all marks that identify you
  4. Stuff is all into that envelope.
  5. Cram the cards and advertisements into the envelope. Again, be neat.
  6. Seal the envelope.
  7. Put the envelope in the proper mailbox.
You can also put in a little note to the credit card company about how you look at the ads as you rip them out, so maybe they would want to get print ads in magazines instead of filling our fucking mailboxes with crap.

Another fun side project is filling out ALL of those little cards with jibberish. If I really wanted something from your company, It wouldn't bother me to have to write you a letter and ask for it firsthand. The simple fact that you guys bend over backwards to make it as easy as humanly possible to get your crap tells me how useless it probably is.

Tips:
  1. Add a little note politely asking the company to stop sending this junk to you. Add your name and address to the note if you like so they know who is making the request, not that they'll stop.
  2. Those "Locator Codes" that are sometimes printed on the back of the envelope? Black ballpoint pen can mess the barcode up, or better yet, write above and below it:
    "The name and address associated with this code no longer wishes to be contacted by your company ever again, nor are you allowed to sell this name and contact information to any other parties."
  3. Those envelopes with the window to show the delivery address on the application?
    1. Tear the address off the application and tape it in place
    2. Sticky Notes will fill that space, then write the address on the stickynote.
  4. Leave little notes to the people that pay to open these envelopes all day long and ask them why they aren't out looking for a better job.
  5. DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT write curse words on the notes or threaten to beat their asses or spit itno the envelope or cough or sneeze or wipe snot into it or anything like that. This is a crime, and endangering the poor slobs who procvess the envelopes is NOT the point.

What is the point of all this?

These companies get special rates on their bulk mailings, and they know their return rate is going to be around X, and the average postage on that is Y, so they can expect to pay a further amount of Z to the post office to cover the stuff coming back.

Everyone sending back all of their little envelopes with a LOT of paper in them will cost them a ton of money. Especially after the post office has had enough of it and starts raising their rates.

Hit the bastards in the pocketbook. That's all they listen to.

Slap out

8 Mar 03


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