14 Apr 2008 10:00 am   //   Filed under: Technology

Kill the mail!

A goal for 2008: phase out mail.

Why go mail-free? It’s a waste of of paper and energy. My mail delivery in Brooklyn has never been reliable, and most correspondence is better done online these days. We still need the mail to deliver packages, but we don’t need it to transmit information.

What I’ve eliminated:

  • Bank statements and bills. I get almost all of them electronically now. The few stragglers I hope to switch over soon.
  • Magazines. When I can read them online, I’m letting my subscriptions expire (with a couple of guilty exceptions, like National Geographic).
  • Frequent flier miles statements.
  • My church‘s monthly newsletter – now offered as an e-newsletter.

What’s left:

  • Postcards and personal letters. I love handwritten, personal notes (though these are getting fewer and fewer) and I don’t wish to eliminate them.
  • Tax forms. I bet within a year or two, we’ll be able to get these electronically.
  • Stock/mutual fund annual reports. There’s a tremendous cost incentive to deliver these electronically, so I expect they will go away soon.
  • The occasional freelance check or rebate check. Again, I bet everything will go EFT within a year or two.
  • Netflix. Clearly going all-online at some point.
  • Legit bulk mail. Now we get to the hard stuff. Catalogs from places where I actually shop, newsletters from my local elected officials, election announcements, those sleazy credit card checks that Bank of America sends me every month, and announcements from the postal service itself.
  • Junk mail. Impossible to eliminate. I’m talking to you, Citibank. And anybody offering to insure the car I don’t own: Wasting your time.