Going Paperless: Catalogs

At Out of the Office Virtual Assistance, we maintain a low carbon imprint .. and are proud of our socially responsible initiatives. We run paperless and coach clients and virtual assistants and other virtual professionals on ways to reduce your paper imprint. This post is just one of many posts that we have put together to help you go paperless.

Concerned about the environment? Limit Unwanted Catalogs

A little history of my life with catalogs: In the fall months, especially October & November, I used to receive 1½-2″ of catalogs a day. Yes .. each and every day that we received mail. Back-to-School time equated to “let the catalogs come” time. Since I ultimately always bought online, why was I continuing to receive the catalogs?!? It made no sense.

Print catalogs use a tremendous amount of paper and clog landfills. So what can a business or individual do to help? First of all, get your name removed from the mailing list of each catalog you don’t want to receive. Although the process can be a little tedious, it will be well worth the effort in the long run. In my own case, I was receiving 2″-3″ thick catalogs almost daily during the fall months. With recyclables picked up just every other week, my recycle bin had no room for anything BUT catalogs!

Now that it’s late summer, you know what that means … the holidays are right around the corner. That means good times; lots of cheer, family get-togethers, and catalogs! I mean … a lot of catalogs. If you are a business owner or individual in the process of going green by cutting down on paper waste, you might want to consider limiting the amount of catalogs you receive – especially those you never ordered.

Here is my list of three ways to stop those annoying catalogs from pouring in:

1) As the catalogs come in, search for your printed name either on the back cover page or inside on the order form. Scan that page – it will have all your account information on it. Next get the catalog website, email, and fax information. If you are comfortable maneuvering around the web, click on the catalog’s sitemap and search for marketing preferences to opt out of their customer mailing. Marketing preferences are typically found under “My account,” “Customer Service,” etc.

2) If you can’t opt-out online with the catalog, move on to Plan B. Send an email, fax, or use live chat to have your name removed from their catalog marketing list. I’ve included a brief email request that is quite successful:

Good afternoon,
As part of our eco-friendly initiatives, please remove us from your catalog mailing list and confirm via email that this has been completed. We welcome email; so if possible, add us to your email lists instead. Information is as follows:

<<Name on Catalog>>
<<Address on catalog>>
Customer Number: <<from catalog/order form>>Note:The customer number & source code make it easier for the catalog house to find you in their system.
Source Code: <<from catalog/order form>>
Email: <<insert the email address you want mail to come to>>

Thank you for helping us help the environment.

3) Finally, be sure to register your business or household with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) at http://www.dmachoice.org. The DMA helps you manage your mail so you get more of the mail you want and less of what you don’t want.

If you are receiving a large volume of catalogs, it’s often more productive to set aside time to remove your name from several catalogs at once. Don’t despair if it takes up to six months to remove yourself or your business from print catalog marketing lists. You’ll have less clutter in your office and home and less paper going straight into the trash.

Many catalogs are already initiating environmentally friendly practices and have digital catalogs displaying their products. A huge step toward helping the environment.

About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:

logo1bAt Out of the Office, we are committed to providing earth-friendly administration and offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.

Interested in going paperless, contact us for a personalized coaching session!

Image credit: kconcha | CCO Public Domain