Stop receiving junk mail and get a buck for doing so


Josh blogged recently about Catalog Choice

, a service that helped him decrease the number of catalogs he received. Another service, GreenDimes, goes this one better. If you sign up, it will help you reduce your junk mail AND pay YOU a dollar for the privilege.

Why the largesse? The company has a war chest of $5 million it has allocated to cut down on the environmental damage wrought by the avalanche of credit card offers, catalogs and sale flyers that jam the nation's mail boxes.

The company's efforts are not all altruism, though. It also sells upgraded services. A $20 premium package will keep your box clean for 3-5 years. It also offers a limited number of environmentally sensitive products such as high-efficiency light bulbs.

I'm fascinated by the for-profit aspect of GreenDimes, and will watch with interest to see if it can make money combating mail proliferation. The fact is that we get junk mail because consumers respond. As a reformed mass mailer, I know the sad fact is that direct mail packages that contain a lot of pieces, including hard-to-recycle decals and the like, work better than bare-bones pitches. Given this, the market GreenDimes is basing its business on should provide it with a steady stream of potential customers.