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How To Stop Receiving Promotional Material

Day 18 of the Zero Waste Challenge
How To Stop Receiving Promotional Material 6

Day 18 of the zero waste challenge

This is an easy one, but also easy to forget sometimes. I noticed many times when someone offers me any promotional material, e.g., flyers or brochures or stickers, etc. I tend to reach out and grab it.

Almost like it would be rude not to take whatever this person is offering me for free. This almost always happens on autopilot, and I don’t think about the consequences this has.

Sure it is only one piece of paper that said 1000 people that day. Or it is only one festival light, said 20 000 people. Or a tote bag with branded USB sticks and T-shirts that end up in the trash after a year of collecting dust in the cupboard.

It adds up, and it is unnecessary because what I remember from the festival or the concert or the event is the experience that I had seen my favorite band or got a free palm reading, or had a free drink.

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It is never the promotional stuff that ends up in my memory box for ten years and, at some stage, just gets thrown out. 

What’s the impact of this Promotional Business that’s worth 24 billion?

As you may have heard, the planet is hurtling toward a full-on environmental crisis. A month ago, the United Nations released a report written by 91 scientists in 40 countries, saying that there is a substantial risk that we will begin experiencing terrible consequences from climate change as soon as 2040. (Think: Food shortages, wildfires, the end of coral reefs.)

These items are produced in China under questionable circumstances for the workers, not to mention the number of resources needed. And what for? Just so that some companies can throw their stickers and USB-sticks in a tote bag, so you might remember them in the future?

The promotional products industry in the US is worth 24 billion and growing.

promotional material graph
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How to slow down and stop receiving promotional material?

Often when someone approaches us on the street or in the mall, we want to be polite because it is annoying enough that someone interrupts our flow in the first place. Kindly say, “No, thank you, it will just end up in the bin.”

You will be surprised how hard it is when you say; “No” for the first time.

Another way of receiving promotional material, e.g., mail, can be the unaddressed mail that ends up in your mailbox.

If you live in Canada, you can write a note on your mailbox stating: “I do not wish to receive Canada Post Neighbourhood Mail.” According to Canada Post, this message will stop the flood of promotional material going into your mailbox.

If your mailman is persistent and still get mail that is just made for the bin, you can fill out this form from Canada post, and they will further investigate the matter. 

There you have it, an easy to implement way yet efficient to stop getting more trash in your home. Give it a try and let me know how it went.

Tweet me at and share your experience with me.

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