How I managed to rid my mailbox of advertisements and free newspapers

Those who do not want to receive any advertising, declare this with a clearly visible “stop advertising” sticker on the mailbox. You think that’s not going to do any good? Then you are like me! Find out here how I managed to get the mail carriers to stop putting advertisements and free newspapers in my mailbox.

Why it often does not work? Advertisers have now found a way to avoid the “stop advertising” notice. In the best case, these stickers prevent that pure advertising brochures land in the mailbox, but with it you are not yet armed against free newspapers, which are partially stuffed with advertising brochures.

How it all began

When I read Bea Johnson’s book “ZERO WASTE HOME”, the section about one’s own mailbox and unnecessary advertising inspired me to do something about this garbage insanity.

I was like that for a long time! For two years I lived in a city in St. Gallen, which simply ignored the sticker on my mailbox (at the top by the letter slot and at the bottom by the milk crate) “PLEASE NO ADVERTISEMENT & PLEASE NO FREE NEWSPAPERS”. So it got on my nerves week after week and month after month. I wrote emails to the publishers and tried to cancel all magazines and flyers. I even went to some stores and threw their advertisements back into their own mailbox. A lot of things didn’t come back and it got less.

When we moved to another community last June 2019, I started my Zero Waste mailbox adventure all over again. I bought again the two stickers “Please no advertising” and “No free newspapers” and put them on the top and bottom of the mailbox.

On the way to the Zero Waste mailbox

Since that unfortunately again did not have the desired effect, I had to come up with something else. I went on a search and found some very stable cardboard remains in our cellar, which could be put up like signs. I wrote with large black letters on the first sign: “STOP! WE DO NOT WANT NEWSPAPERS” and on the second sign I wrote “THANK YOU” and painted a heart on it. In good spirits, I put both signs at the bottom of the milk crate and waited anxiously to see if it would work.


My plan worked!

For a long time, there was no advertising, no free newspaper and I was happy and proud of my two signs. But then after about 2-3 months I found again a free newspaper laid over the signs.

I flipped over the “THANK YOU” sign and wrote on the back of it: “NO! NO NEWSPAPERS & ADVERTISEMENTS” and left it next to the already obvious “STOP…” sign up. Since then, it works quite well and only just before the elections some flyers and begging letters got lost in it. But, no more free newspaper.

The instructions for the carton display



So I made the two signs for my mailbox.

  1. Display

The larger sign, “STOP! WE DO NOT WANT NEWSPAPERS” in the back, is only written on the front and remains basically unchanged in our mailbox.

  1. Display

The THANK YOU sign is written on the front and back and therefore can be used on both sides.

– Front side: «THANK YOU <3»


THE tip against addressed advertising

Did you know that you can return addressed advertising unopened to the sender and at the same time request that the company delete your address from its database? All you have to do is to add Refusé (=acceptance denied) to the letter, sign the data deletion order and drop it unstamped in the nearest mailbox. The sender of the advertising letter is obliged by data protection law to delete your address from his database. Two sheets of 8 “Refusé” stickers each (source: More helpful tips from consumer protection here.


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