Consumerism Going green

No junk mail

The No Junk Mail sticker is very effective. I rarely get anything — notable recent exceptions being an ALP brochure about the local candidate, and Coalition brochures with lots of red ink slagging off the ALP. I wonder if electoral material is exempt?

(Local sitting member Andrew Robb looks a bit like an older Kevin Rudd, doesn’t he.)

But these aren’t as objectionable as a personally addressed letter from the Coalition which included an Australian Government Coat of Arms and text that implied it was about my electoral enrolment. Oh, of course some junk mail sneaks in with the local papers, but even the local papers are sporadic now; perhaps half the distributors think they’re Junk Mail.

Hummer spamAdmittedly I miss some of the catalogues a little bit, and so end up reading them when I go over to my mum’s place. But I just discovered the Catalogue Central web site where you can browse a wide range of catalogues online — and those they don’t have on their own site, they link to official sites if they exist. Very cool.

(Note to the Americans: in Australia we don’t have a big issue with catalogue mailing lists, which Buzz Bruggeman recently noted can be stopped via… though some claim it doesn’t really work. Junk mail AU means unaddressed brochures.)

Speaking of junk mail, Hummer UK spammed me. Seriously, apart from the fact that I’m on the wrong continent, is there anybody less likely to want to buy a Hummer than me? So not only do they they make those hulking great Enviro-Bastard tanks (No, a Hummer is NOT greener than a Prius), burning up the planet’s resources… they also spam people. Evil gits.

Next they’ll be sending me junk mail.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “No junk mail”

I think most people would consider election propaganda is definitely JUNK mail. During this election period, I’ve done some letter-boxing for Julia Mason (ALP candidate for Goldstein) and I NEVER put stuff in boxes marked “NO junk mail”. I think it would piss people off. About one third of letter boxes in my area have such stickers (or “Aust Post only”, etc).
PS I’m with your mum. I love reading junk mail!

The other day there were people handing out election pamphlets at the station. When I got up the platform, the station attendants had conveniently placed a bin for all the discarded pamphlets – otherwise people would just litter…

I think the definition of catalog is slightly different here than in the U.S. (having lived in both places).

I’ve noticed a lot of people say catalog here in Oz to refer to something the Yanks would probably call sale ads. Instead of being delivered to your letterbox, though, in the U.S. they get shoved inside the Sunday papers. Material from Target, Myer, Harris Scarfe etc. would be considered ads.

U.S. catalogs are generally for mail order, so these would be your Peter Alexander or Ezi-Buy or Chrisco kind of thing. The problem comes when you move house and the catalog company keeps sending them to your old house anyway – they’re often addressed to “Joe Bloggs, or current resident”. Even if you order something from a company only once, you are automatically added to their catalog mailing list.

Nearly every place I’ve lived in the U.S. received oodles of catalogs that weren’t meant for the current residents, but people usually just toss them out and don’t chase up the company to let them know. That’s where the catalog choice site you mentioned would come in handy. Especially since the U.S. has thousands more catalogs – it’s unbelievable sometimes.

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