Do you ever feel like so many unnecessary things are sent in the mail and use an unacceptable amount of paper? I definitely feel that way and I’ve recently found an app that can help you lessen the amount of paper that is delivered to you. Unsurprisingly, businesses do not want to waste money printing and delivering material to you that you’re simply going to recycle – or worse, throw directly into the trash.

The free PaperKarma smartphone app enables you to “unsubscribe from catalogs, magazines, credit card offers, etc.”, turn it into email correspondence or remove it all together. Each US household gets about 850 pieces of unwanted mail per year, which leads to more than 100 billion pieces! Of this wasted mail, about 44 percent goes into landfills unopened. So, instead of feeling bad about all those offers and advertisements you get, you can avoid this environmental damage completely.

PaperKarma is very easy to use – just snap a photo of the junk mail, flyer or publication, hit send and you’re done. The app automatically contacts the mailer who then removes you from their distribution list. PaperKarma can stop most unwanted mail that is addressed directly to you. In about 24 hours you will receive the unsubscribed notification and move on with less paper waste clogging up your mailbox and your ‘karma’. I know that I am going to take advantage of this, and I suggest you try it out for yourself. For more info, or to download the app go here:

related: more green tips from The Alternative Consumer