This week a step towards zero waste which is easy, really easy! Today I want to talk about physical mail, junk mail in particular. Household in The Netherlands who don’t take action receive 32 kilos of paper advertisements each year (MilieuCentraal)! And that’s only advertisements, no normal mail, magazines, the newspaper etc. I think it’s a lot! Too much to be honest. Luckily, you can easily get rid of all this junk mail. I’ll tell you how.
Isn’t junk mail highly unnecessary these days? I mean, it’s the 21st century. You can just search for advertisements online. On your phone, tablet or computer. Super easy, right? Only if you’re really need junk mail, because of a disability or because you have no access to technology, I would justify it. And also, it is a single-use item and those suck. Such a waste, you read them once and then they go to the paper trash (or worse, landfill). It took a lot of trees, energy, water and CO2 to get that junk mail to you.
To get rid of this junk mail very easily, you can pick up a NEE-NEE sticker (NO-NO sticker in English) at your local municipality, for free! Zero waste doesn’t have to cost much. You can place this sticker onto your mailbox and you’ll no longer receive unaddressed mail, only addressed mail still. That’s mail you do need of course. If a NEE-NEE sticker is too diehard for you, you can also get a NEE-JA-sticker (NO-Yes sticker), then you’ll still receive the local newspaper. I would not recommend this, but it is an option. It’s just a matter of placing a sticker and tadaaa, you’re all done.
Besides the sticker, it’s also good to sign off for junk mail online. I know this, because I used to bring around junk mail when I was 14. When people had the NEE-NEE sticker, I would be left with them in the end. My supervisor always told me to get rid of those. So, to make sure these companies send out less junk mail, you can sign of at www.postfiler.nl (it is a Dutch site). You sign off for specific sections (like car’s, books, charity, lotteries and more), but also for specific companies. If you for example know IKEA sends out a big bungle each year, you can sign off specifically for IKEA.
Every Bit Helps
Whether you get a NEE-NEE sticker, sign off online or write to companies about junk mail, every bit helps! As we saw above, 32 kilos of junk mail each year, per household! That’s extreme. For a life of 80 years that would make 2560 kilos of unnecessary waste. Let’s do this together. Good luck!