Ja/Nee stickers: the solution to junk mail
Wondered why Dutch front doors often feature stickers saying Ja/Nee or Nee/Nee? Louise Doorn explains.
Stickers on Dutch doors come in two types: Ja/Nee and Nee/Nee.
Ja/Nee refers to Yes, I would like to receive the free local paper but No, I don't want leaflets, brochures and advertisements.
People who put the Nee/Nee sticker on their door don't want to receive any mail that is not personally addressed to them; so no leaflets and no free local paper.
Why people do it
Many people don't want to deal with the pile of paper they get through their door, are not interested in bargains or local news, or want to preserve paper and ultimately a tree or two. Some idealists hope that when many people put stickers on their doors, less money will be spent on advertising, resulting in lower prices in the shops.
I have a sticker myself, and it leaves my staircase cleaner. Most paperboys and girls respect my wishes, apart from the odd pizza delivery place that still thinks it's vital you read its leaflet.
Where to get a sticker
You can obtain a sticker at the local city hall or, in bigger cities, in your neighbourhood stadsdeelkantoren (district council office). You can call and have one mailed to you.
Neighbours sharing one mailbox might have fights over whether or not to have a sticker. A friend of mine had that problem: she didn't want the leaflets and her neighbour did. So they eventually found a solution: the sticker is not on the door but the neighbour has to take two leaflets instead of one into her apartment.