I feel your pain, it seems if you make a purchase of any kind online these days you're sold to the highest bidder as a consumer willing to spend
money. Like you, I began receiving mass quantities of junk mail, from credit offers, insurance, time-share to coupons. If I didn't check my mailbox
for 3 days it would usually be filled with junk mail plus a bill or two. How much does it cost these companies to do this to us?
The particulars on pricing and volume for Business Reply Mail, in the United States can be found:
Keep in mind if a business reply envelope isn't used the company isn't charged for it and the permit is based on expected return volume. Aside from
the permit price and annual maintenance fee which comes to about $905.00. For an expected return volume of 11,247 pieces, to which the permit
applies, the letters themselves come to $6,410.79 annually if the expected volume is reached.
On average I get about 14 business reply envelopes or post cards a week. If I returned every one at $0.57 each that adds up to approximately $414 a
year in postage and that's just for my junk mail alone. According to the U.S. Census for 2013 the total number of households in the U.S. was numbered
at 304,130,000. If everyone of us stateside returned every business reply envelope we ever received in a year, using my numbers as a benchmark, that
comes to a whopping $126,201,784,800.00 in postage! That's no small sum. And its worth mentioning that in a recent article by the Huffington Post,
the USPS, was losing $25 million a day or about $9 billion a year.
So, what to do about this junk mail epidemic? How can we encourage them to send less? It occurred to me when I received a gift that I didn't
particularly want from a friend but politely accepted. I gave it to someone else who wanted it, this is otherwise known as re-gifting. I decided to
apply the same theory to junk mail by returning the business reply envelope to the sender stuffed with a competitors ad, credit offer, or perhaps a
local pizza coupon. I started calling it re-junk mail. Once I got started I became obsessed with my new hobby. I began asking neighbors for their junk
mail just to obtain the oh-so-precious business reply envelope. As things progressed I started incorporating irony in my replies to make it more fun.
For example, If you remember the Martha Stewart flap and subsequent arrest for conspiracy and insider trading a few years back; I tore the bail bonds
page out of my local phone book, (another waste of paper) and re-junked it with a Martha Stewart Living business reply envelope. Essentially, you
could possibly turn the system against itself by re-junk mailing and you'll be reducing the deficit of the USPS by having the corporations foot the
bill. I'm not promoting a cause, corporation, or other effort. Just sharing a revelation I had and a new hobby. Peace!