How NOT to send a review item in the post

Filed in Blog by on September 24, 2012 4 Comments
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As you’ll be aware by now, I’m a pretty easy-going chick.

I’ll indulge in happy dances when people have shared successes and I’ll celebrate with someone when they’ve plucked up the courage to go into a deli and use their own containers.

I’m happy when people are doing their best in their efforts to reduce their waste; I don’t expect anyone to be as crazy as we are and aim for zero waste.

I’m happy when people do their bit, no matter how small that ‘bit’ is, because I believe that a whole load of people ‘doing their bit’ adds up to significant change.

I don’t mind when people make mistakes, because let’s face it, we’re a family of mistake makers here at zero waste towers.

However, there is one teeny, weeny, thing that really, REALLY gets my goat.

One company sent me into a spin recently when they sent me a book for review. A book about recycling no less.

I’ve reviewed a book by this publisher before, so I agreed.

A few days later a cardboard package arrived with a piece of that hard plastic packing tape around it. The tape was not necessary because the cardboard was well sealed – so well sealed that I had to cut it with a knife to get into it.

Inside I found, not my book, but a game of pass the parcel…

Inside the cardboard packaging bound by senseless plastic tape was a jiffy envelope. The sort I erm, use to send books in the post so that they arrive in perfect condition.

Jiffy envelope, cardboard packaging – both are good enough on their own to send a book in the post, right?

I opened the jiffy envelope and there was my book!

Except it wasn’t.

In order to read the book, I had to remove some shrink wrapped plastic.


So just to get you up to speed I had a shrink wrapped book inside a jiffy envelope inside cardboard packaging held together by plastic tape.

Even Amazon; Gods of the Frustration packaging, manage to send their books in cardboard…

And there ends my book review.

As for the packaging – it’s all going back to the distributor with a letter of complaint.

If you’re a company thinking of sending me something for review then take note. Mrs Green awards this particular book 0/5 without reading it because the packaging says it all.

And you know what’s even worse? This book has the reduce, reuse, recycle message on the back of it!

In the past friends and strangers have sent me things in the post and gone out of their way to take the packaging into account. I’ve had furoshiki, items sent in cloth bags, people have wrapped in reused packaging, I’ve had cardboard boxes stuffed with newspaper, I’ve received glass in recycled cardboard, I’ve had notes stuffed inside saying “I hope the packaging is ok, I did my best”. It’s been so touching to see the lengths ‘ordinary people’ will go to to take my own particular quirks into account.

If you’re a company who wants to send me something for review, stop and think about it before you wrap the item. I run a zero waste site, that means how you send your item speaks volumes to me about your true values and will be taken into account when I write my review.

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (4)

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  1. Compostwoman says:

    Good for you!

    I *always* include the packaging ( and how it is delivered to me!) in my reviews. It matters. A lot.

  2. Liz says:

    Stick to your guns, sister.

  3. although the teen bear holds a cute pose, i would have preferred a full length photo of you swaddled in a roll of reused cardboard, flung around with torn duct tape, coiffed with bows of cellophane tape on plastic bonnet and stamped with obliterated collectible stamps..the message would be undoubtedly powerful!
    send THAT to the offending parties on a single sided card next time..

  4. Jennifer says:

    I hear you, honey! I don’t see how companies can’t take that into consideration. Depending on how they package often makes my decision on whether I buy from them or not.

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