This winter I read about GreenDimes.com, a new enterprise that will help you reduce your volume of junk mail. Note that their domain is ".com" - they are not a non-profit, they are a business. Increased environmental concerns are spawning all kinds of new business opportunities, contrary to the old, false argument that if we raise environmental standards it will be bad for business. Green Dimes is $36 a year, or a dime a day. There are all kind of personal and communal benefits to decreasing junk mail. Those catalogs clutter up your house, weigh down your recycling, and require vast amounts of natural resources to print and ship, all the while emitting carbon pollution. They are immensely duplicative. If you're a frequent shopper, it seems like they send you a new version of their catalog every few days. I am vigilant about it, but when I place an order online, there is no way to avoid the deluge of mail that follows. Often catalogs arrive from related companies - clearly once a company snags a real buyer, they sell your name.
It is possible to remove your address from mailing lists yourself, but it's quite time consuming. Paying a modest amount to have the GreenDimes professionals take on the project is a great use of money - the kind of "domestic outsourcing" I really value. Plus they plant complimentary trees in your honor through my favorite offset source: Trees for the Future. I have not used GreenDimes myself, but gave an annual membership as a gift to a very appreciative recipient.
And yes, if you have a favorite catalog, you can exempt it from the purge. And if you like receiving catalogs from a company, but just not so many, did you know you can talk to their Customer Service and pick the frequency of mailings? Cool, huh.