Nearly a year ago, I signed up for GreenDimes, which promises to “stop up to 90% of your junk mail and plant 10 trees on your behalf” for your annual membership fee. Assuming they planed the trees (I’m sure they did), this has technically been true. Don’t even get me started on this “up to 90%” crap again.
It seems to me that GreenDimes has had basically no effect on the junk mail I am receiving. I filled out all their post cards and sent them in, and the junk just keeps coming in one truckload after another. I’m guessing this is unusual, since I haven’t heard a major uproar about this from the blogosphere in general. Maybe it stopped 5% of my junk mail, but somehow I doubt it. I suppose 5% is “up to 90%”.
Anyway, when I first wrote about Greendimes on my personal blog, I got an interesting comment from Margot Brown who is the founder of a competing company here in Colorado called StopTheJunkMail.com. She was put off that I was covering an out-of-state competitor even though I was supposed to be a voice for Colorado-based companies. I explained in response that she was commenting on my personal blog, and not on ColoradoStartups.com, and that I wasn’t even aware of StopTheJunkMail.com. Needless to say, Margot made me quite aware.
So now that my membership on GreenDimes is up, I decided to switch to StopTheJunkMail.com. They make the same meaningless promise of stopping “up to 90%” of my junk mail, but offer to plant just one tree instead of ten. The price is about the same – both are about $20.00 per year.
StopTheJunkMail, like GreenDimes, has a way of allowing me to request stops for specific pieces of direct mail or catalogs. For me, this is almost too tedious a process. I just want all catalogs to STOP, as well as all mail that isn’t addressed directly to us. Perhaps everyone doesn’t want to stop all catalogs like I do, but why not offer that as an option? Or perhaps let me say which catalogs I do want, and stop the rest? It’s probably too cost prohibitive, but that’s what I want.
One advantage that StopTheJunkMail claims to have over other services is that they don’t need to send you a bunch of postcards that you then have to send out. They handle it all centrally, which cuts down on all the handling between all the parties.
Anyway, I’m all for giving a Colorado-based company the business, and I am hopeful that StopTheJunkMail will have a noticeable impact on the junk mail volume at my home. If you’ve used a service like this, I’d love to hear your comments about it. Clearly these services are very well-intentioned and if they work are a bargain for the price.
We’ll see. If none of this works for me, maybe I’ll start using something like Earth Class Mail and let them deal with it.