Free online service cuts back on catalog clutter

Web site removes your name from mailing lists. Imagine what your recycling bin would look like if you didn't get a stack of catalogs in the mail each day.

Tired of receiving a mountain of useless catalogs in the mail every day? If your mailbox looks anything like mine, you could probably use some help getting your name removed from the plethora of junk mail sent to your home--plus, you'll be doing the planet a favor.

Catalog Choice is a free online service that makes sure you stop receiving the catalogs that you no longer want in the mail. The site has attracted some media attention, and now small businesses and even some schools are using it to reduce waste.

Imagine what your recycling bin would look like if you didn't get three copies of L.L. Bean and Victoria's Secret every week. But the fact is, most of us don't have the time or patience to call every single 1-800 number on the back of a catalog and listen to 15 minutes of the '80s greatest hits before begging someone to remove your name from a mailing list. Catalog Choice is willing to do the work for you--and since it's free, why not?

To sign up, you simply fill out a registration form on CatalogChoice.org. Then find the name of the unwanted catalog on the search list, click on it, and Catalog Choice contacts them on your behalf to have your name removed from their list. I've removed approximately a half dozen catalogs so far and have yet to find one that isn't listed.

Why is it free? Catalog Choice is a nonprofit sponsored by the Berkeley, Calif.-based Ecology Center, a group that encourages recycling and operates farmers' markets in the Bay Area. The Web site is also endorsed by the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council and funded by the Overbrook Foundation, the Merck Family Fund, and the Kendeda Fund.

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About the author

Desiree Everts DeNunzio is a freelance editor and writer. She's dabbled in digital media and technology for the past decade, including stints at CNET News and Wired magazine. When she's not fiddling with various gadgets, she spends her time running after chickens and her own brood.

 

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