[GRRN] Junk Mail

From: Carper, Nancy A, Ms, HQAFCEE (Nancy.Carper@hqafcee.brooks.af.mil)
Date: Wed Jul 12 2000 - 15:30:21 EDT

  • Next message: Roger Guttentag: "Re: [GRRN] Junk Mail"

    What works for all the unsolicited junk mail I receive.....if the solicitor
    encloses a POSTAGE PAID envelope with their propaganda, I stuff everything I
    can into the POSTAGE PAID envelope and MAIL IT BACK to them, after I have
    "Xed" through offers or signature lines! Then the companies have to pay
    the postage (again) and utilize staff (or equipment) to open the envelope to
    discover I'm NOT interested in their offers! This has greatly reduced my
    incoming mail.
    Integrated Solid Waste Manager
    USAF Center for Environmental Excellence
    Brooks AFB Texas

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Roger Guttentag [mailto:rgutten@concentric.net]
    Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 12:19 PM
    To: multiple recipients of
    Subject: [GRRN] Junk Mail

    Dear GreenYesers:
    The recent message by Mary Appelhof to GreenYes on the huge waste of
    material resources from the billions of direct mail marketing pieces sent
    out for credit card solicitations is part of a long history of messages
    about junk mail posted to this and other lists. Mary's suggestion regarding
    who you can contact about getting your name removed from mailing lists is
    helpful but, within the current legal environment, I feel it is an almost
    futile strategy. Trying to get your name removed from direct marketing
    databases is like fighting the mythical Hydra - I believe that for every
    success you have in getting your name deleted from one database, it gets
    added to three other databases at the same time. This problem will persist
    as long as the current system provides only "opt-out" options for
    individuals. This situation exists because direct marketing companies
    operate under the legal presumption that they have the right to send you
    unsolicited offers through the mail. You can refuse these offers, of
    course, but a waste of material resources occurs as a result. Even though
    many communities and waste management services now offer residents the
    opportunity to recycle their junk mail (including mine), unfortunately this
    solution is attenuated by the problems emerging over identity theft forces
    me (and others) to now shred any unsolicited junk mail that I deem to be of
    a sensitive financial nature which severely diminishes its recyclability.
    But even if every ounce of material from direct mailings is recycled, it's
    still a waste of resources if you never wanted the mailing in the first
    The only sustainable solution to the problem of unwanted soliticitations of
    any kind, snail mail, e-mail, etc., is for our legal system to recognize
    that you own your name and you have the right to determine how it is used or
    who could use it. This would change the rules of direct marketing to
    consumers from an "opt-out" model to an "opt-in" model; that is, I am
    legally protected from receiving unwanted direct marketing solicitations
    unless I choose (by opting-in) to receive them through some form of explicit
    permission. To further strengthen the consumer's right to not receive
    unwanted direct marketing solicitations, this permission must be explicitly
    renewed on a periodic basis (e.g. annually).
    Obviously, there will be millions of people who will be willing to be bribed
    by small gifts to give their permission to direct marketers. That is their
    choice. But I am sure there will be millions more, like myself, who won't
    be bribed (or at least won't sell out cheaply). The bottom line is that I
    want that choice which I don't have now.
    I think that any future discussion about the waste problems associated with
    unsolicitated direct marketing that does not address the need for an opt-in
    marketing system is just whining and complaining. I would be really
    interested in knowing if opt-in solutions have been legislatively proposed
    or if there are any organizations that are seriously advocating opt-in
    direct marketing policies. We should know about these, and, support those
    that make sense.
    Roger M. Guttentag
    Read Recycling in Cyberspace in Resource Recycling
    July 2000 topic : MRF virtual tours

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