I propose that Americans observe Lysander Spooner Day on May 14th (a Thursday this year).
By refusing any and all un-wanted mail!
I’ll get to the how in a moment, but I think it’d be a fitting tribute because Mr. Spooner thought that the US Postal Service was an unconstitutional monopoly – so he did what any good person would and responded by starting a competing company, the American Letter Mail Company.
The US Government responded to this competition by tying him up in court until he ran out of money and shuttered the company.
Fast forward about 170 years…
I just got done sorting through a pile of unread mail in my home.
It weighed 8.5 lbs (4kg)!
After sorting it into two piles, I found that 86% of the mail was unsolicited junk!
So here’s how to stop it.
The USPS Domestic Mail Manual section 508 part 1.1.3 “Refusal After Delivery” explains that Addressees may control delivery of their mail.
One way to do this is to write Refused near the postage (I’ve used a fat tipped fluorescent pink marker to great effect), then returning it to my mailbox with an indication that there is mail to be picked up.
When the letter carrier arrives, they see the mail piece, read the Refused note, and process it accordingly.
That’s all there is to it – and it takes a lot less of your valuable time and effort to write Refused on a letter (or you can use a Refused stamp) than it does to recycle the mail or throw it away.
Don’t you think that’d be a fitting remembrance for a guy who was bullied by the US Government? If so, simply share this post with your friends, family, and most importantly – your neighbors! This protest against Government bullying and junk mail will work best if people participate together.
I propose the hashtag #LysanderSpoonerDay in social media. Please join me in spreading the word so that Lysander Spooner and the ideas he stood for are remembered across the nation.
All I ask is that you share a link to this page with your friends, and by all means, let me know if you’ll be participating!
Some of you might be wondering, “What happens if I do this for a while – will I get in trouble? Will my letter carrier get mad at me?” For the answer to those questions, I’ve detailed my experience with refusing United States Postal Service junk mail.