Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Junk Mail is Universal

Tuesdays in The Netherlands are Junk Mail day. You know what I mean. It's the day when you come home from a long day at work hoping and praying you can just get the front door open. Mail boxes are few and far between and most people receive their mail through a slot in their front door. Unfortunately, today was no different (see picture of what my front entry looked like this evening - and that is only from one day!)

In The Netherlands, you can opt out of receiving the weekly kilos of advertisements by placing a simple sticker on your front door.  The "NEE - NEE" version means you are saying no to all unaddressed advertising as well as addressed advertising. (Some companies hope to sneakily circumvent this and reach people by addressing their paper spam to "The Resident Of This House."

The other variant of the sticker is "NEE - JA" which means you don't want all the circulars, flyers, and ads but do want the advertising directly addressed to you. After twenty years of residing in Holland I still don't understand the difference!

As a tree-loving Oregonian, what surprises me about all of this is that there is still so much tolerance for printed paper advertisements in a country which claims to be so environmentally-friendly. (There must be at least a small Christmas tree from the Black Forest lying on my doormat this evening). I am convinced that this is all part of a massive conspiracy to keep the printing presses alive after the death of so many newspapers here recently in The Netherlands.

I guess I should really get one of those NEE - NEE stickers to stave off the constant barrage of attacks from the Dutch tree killers, but if I did that, I might just miss out on my favorite spring garden tools sale! If only the NEE - NEE sticker existed virtually to ward off email spam in my inbox *sigh*


  1. I like those. All we have is a black and white 'KEINE WERBUNG!' - it's so demanding that I feel bad putting it on the mailbox.

    1. Tonja - don't feel guilty -- most junk mail is unsollicited, i.e. you didn't ask for it!

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  3. Hi, just to solve your question, the left NEE is for advertisements, the right choice (NNE or JA) is to choose if you want to receive free weekly newspapers. These newspapers contain a lot of local news and information about upcoming events close to your house. Most cities and town have such a weekly town paper. These papers live off advertisements only so in fact more adds that journalism, hence my choice would bee NEE/NEE