how to stop junk mail

How to Stop Junk Mail

how to stop junk mail

Junk mail is one of my biggest bug bears and lately I’ve been keen to find out how to stop junk mail.  From my research I’ve put together a guide on how to stop junk mail, which I’m sure you’ll find useful!  It really has helped me

The biggest offenders in my area are Virgin Media and Farmfoods (I’m all for naming and shaming).  I swear we get a Virgin Media circular through our door every other day (the worst part is we don’t even live in an area where you can get all of the Virgin Media services!).

H&M are also terrible.  If you buy something online they will automatically put your name on their catalogue distribution list and send you what seems like at least one catalogue a fortnight.  My partner also found himself on that same list, so it came to be that we were receiving two copies of the same catalogue every fortnight.  It took about 3 months of me returning every brochure that was sent to me before they took us off of their list.  And then I bought something else online, and the pesky catalogues started again.  Cue more sending the catalogues back until they took my name off the list (and a vow to only ever shop in-store in H&M).

junk mail

How to Stop Junk Mail

What can you do to stop junk mail?  First of all, do what I do with H&M and return any personally addressed junk mail to the sender.  Just cross through your address, add a note to the envelope asking to be removed from their mailing list, and put it back in the post box.  You don’t need to add a stamp – I never do.  Most companies get the message quite quickly and you won’t receive any more unsolicited post, others, like H&M, are a bit slower on the uptake.

Next on your checklist for how to stop junk mail is to sign up for the Mail Preference Service.  This is a free service which you can use to get your name and address removed from lists used by companies to market their products.  This means you will receive no junk mail addressed to you personally, however it does not stop mail addressed “to the householder” or un-addressed junk mail being delivered, nor junk mail originating from abroad.

The next step you can do is to put a “no junk mail”, or “no circulars” sticker or sign on your letterbox.  This will help remind people, such as local fast food shops, not to put circulars through your letterbox, but will not stop the postman putting junk mail through your letterbox.  Apparently postmen are contractually obligated to give you any junk mail that companies have paid Royal Mail to deliver.  It also won’t stop the delivery of free newspapers – you’ll have to add a “no free newspapers” sign on your letterbox as well.  If you’re worried about how all of this is going to look on your letterbox, then the Stop Junk Mail website (which gives very comprehensive advice, by the way), sell some letterbox stickers for only 90p.  You can even get some fancy aluminium signs for only £4.50 on there.

To then stop the postman delivering junk mail to you, you have to opt-out via the Royal Mail website.  I’ve found that Royal Mail make this as difficult as possible for you to do and for that reason I haven’t done it yet.  You have to write to Royal Mail or e-mail them.  They send you a form by post, which you then have to fill in send back to them.  It’s too much of a long-winded faff for me, but one day I will do this.  To opt out you can either send your name and address to:

Freepost RSTR-YCYS-TGLJ
Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Outs
Kingsmead House
Oxpens Road
OXFORD
OX1 1AA

Or e-mail your name and address to optout@royalmail.com

This lets you opt out of junk mail for two years, then you have to re-contact Royal Mail and go through the whole rigmarole again.  Again, a bit of a faff but it’s a key action in how to stop junk mail.

Have I missed anything on how to stop junk mail?  Let me know in the comments below!

Image sources: 1 / 2

solar water heating systems

Solar Water Heating Systems

solar water heating systems

This is a sponsored post in association with VELUX®.  Please see my disclosure policy for information on these types of posts.

I could talk about renewable energy until the cows come home! I’m infinitely enthralled by wave power in particularly, but on a smaller, at-home scale, I’m really into the idea of solar water heating systems.

At the start of last year we lost our power for 3 days in a bad wind storm.  I could cope without the lights. I could cope without the heat (we have a lot of blankets and hot water bottles to hand because I cannot bear to be cold, ever).  But I could not cope without the hot water.  I’d only given birth six days previously and all I wanted most in the world was a hot shower.  The idea of generating our own power to minimise these kind of shocks is therefore so very appealing.  And not just in case of power cuts caused by weather events – reports suggest that UK gas reserves are low, so taking steps to become self-reliant when it comes to energy seems prudent.

Not to mention, of course, the money saving and eco-friendly aspects of renewable energy: solar water heating systems (also known as solar thermal) can provide about a third of your household’s hot water needs.  Although costing between £3,000 and £5,000 to buy and install, you can save between £55 and £80 a year.  You’ll also be less reliant on the energy companies, which is always a win!  Gas prices are at record highs with no signs of going down so who knows what you’d be saving in the near future – hundreds of pounds possibly.  Come Summer 2013 you will also earn money through the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, pushing your savings up further.

To explain a bit more about how solar water heating works here’s a little infographic I found which demonstrates solar water heating systems quite succinctly:

solar thermal heating

Image from Which?

Solar water heating systems can provide most of your hot water requirements in the summer, but you’ll still need a boiler for winter.  You’ll also need a suitable roof area (preferably south facing).  If you’ve got a boiler and a roof that gets a lot of sun then you’re halfway there, but if you’re looking for a good source of information then I’d recommend the VELUX website.  VELUX have a 6 point guide to help you choose the solar water heating system you need to suit your requirements best.  They also have straightforward installation instruction videos and diagrams in their technical section, which are really handy.

I have heard nothing but good reports from people who have solar water heating systems, and soon I hope to join their ranks!

* Main image from here