The Junk Mail Landscape
Humble Beginnings, Big Impact
We started 41pounds.org because we were frustrated by all the unwanted and wasteful junk mail we were getting — and we found out how harmful junk mail is to the planet and our communities.
41pounds.org provides a fast, reliable soup-to-nuts service to stop 95% of the junk mail that clogs your mailbox. We contact dozens of direct mail companies on your behalf to get you off their lists, plus as many catalogs as you want to stop. 41pounds.org is the only service that donates more than 1/3 of your fee to the environmental or community organization you choose.
Over the last five years, we have stopped 5 million pounds of junk mail and raised more than $300,000 for environmental organizations such as American Forests, Trees for the Future, CarbonFund.org, Outward Bound and Habitat for Humanity chapters.
Good for the Economy
When you stop your junk mail, you give a leg up to businesses and nonprofit organizations — while you keep trees in the forest and clutter out of your house. In the direct mail industry, response rates less than 1% are common and considered acceptable. That’s one in a hundred people saying yes to the offer. The business or charity’s cost of mailing to the other 99 people is simply a massive waste of money and natural resources. Their marketing and fundraising efforts can be more cost-effective if they remove from their mailing lists the people (like you!) who don’t want to hear from them. 41pounds.org lets you opt out of marketing mail and catalogs — and save businesses and charities a whole lot of money.
There Oughta Be a Law
Taxpayers waste enormous amounts of money to support junk mail. First, we subsidize the mailing cost. The U.S. Postal Service charges regular folks 44 cents to mail a bill payment or send a letter, and charges businesses as little as 14 cents to send junk mail. Then, local communities have to pay to dispose of junk mail — either the landfill or a recycling center. Seattle estimated that cost to be $400,000 a year, which could fund a LOT of critical services or go back into the taxpayers’ pocket.
Seattle and San Francisco have passed resolutions asking their states to create a “Do Not Mail” registry, like the popular and successful “Do Not Call” registry — which gives each person the choice to block telemarketing phone calls. This approach allows businesses and charities to send marketing mail and catalogs just to people who want to receive this information — and allows every person to choose for themselves.
So far, no state has passed legislation to create a Do Not Mail registry, although at least 20 states have begun to explore it. The direct mail industry has lobbied strongly to maintain their power to fill our mailboxes without our permission.
Create the Wave
Together we can make even more progress to reduce waste, protect the planet and keep annoying clutter out of our lives. Here’s how: