Wednesday, 30 December 2009

No More Plastic Post...continued...

As some of you might remember I've been trying to STOP any post from being delivered to my house in those plastic 'envelopes' - because they offend me a LOT! I can't recycle them locally and I want to cut down the amount of plastic that I use (because it's made from oil and what not that's running out).

I'm having trouble with one magazine I am repeatedly sent (from a teaching union I used to belong to when I was studying for my PGCE, that I'm not a member of anymore, because it stopped being free and because I can't find a teaching job! Talk about rubbing salt in the wound lol!) To make it even worse, my mum is a member of the union and she gets sent their magazine every month too - so we get 24 plastic wrapped magazines per year sent to our address!! There is no way to contact this company! There are no contact details on their website or in their magazine, there is a phone number I can call, but at my own expense, so I'm reluctant to do that. I have found a semi satisfying way of dealing with their plastic post though - sending it back with a sticky label asking to be removed from their mailing list - I've done that for the past 2 months (along with the numerous membership packs they keep sending me too) so maybe next month will be teaching magazine free!!!

I also got a catalogue wrapped in plastic from who I've never heard of, but actually have a special 'remove from mailing list' contact on their website - which I'm really impressed with! I added a little note to the end of the part where I had to put my details about how I was trying to reduce waste and that an unnecessary paper catalogue and plastic bag weren't helpful and could they please reconsider their mailing methods. Lets see if it works!

Having said that The Book People have a section for managing mailings, where I opted out of getting catalogues and I still got one last month, maybe it takes a while to process or something, but I'm going to send them a quick email as well to make sure.

Someone from my old university phoned me and asked if I wanted to donate £26 a month for a student fund, which obviously I said no to, and then asked if I wanted to be put on their mailing list, I had a long conversation with the girl all about cutting down my waste and not wanting to get any paper mail, but that I was happy to be put on their e-mailing list (in case I ever win the lottery!). Three days later I received a letter, not in plastic thank goodness, but with about 5 pages in it asking again for a donation. I put it all back in the envelope and wrote an angry letter on the back of one of the sheets, asking to be removed from their mailing list and giving them my email again. I'm not usually angry - but it seems to have worked in this situation, as a couple of days later I got this email (note email not letter! hurrah!)

Dear Susan

Thank you for your letter from which I was sorry to learn that we had failed to act upon your request not to receive snail mail in future. I am afraid this was simply human error, with Sophie failing to make the requisite note on your record. I hope you will accept our apologies and I can assure you that your record has now been suitably amended. Some Aber publications, such as Prom, are not yet available electronically, but I will ensure you receive it this way once it is produced in an e-format.

Best regards

If angry is the best way to beat plastic post then I'm going to have to rethink my tactics!


  1. WOW! It'as great that they reacted to your request!

    Of course, they want to get donations, no?!

    An online site even included into their policy for people to opt-in into only receiving electronic publications, after I requested it, which I thought was awesomely cool!

    It would be great to see it measured somewhere, imprint of sent vs electronic, based on various scenarios! Have you seen anything like this?

    Too bad about the mystery mailings (2x!) - can you google the magazine or the association, or check for association in phone directory and call?

    We get a magazine for sponsoring kiddies too, both wrapped in plastics, 2x! I called and unsubscribed to only get 1, (we got 3 issues before: one paid, one for Mum, one for me: I'm inclined not to sponsor the kiddie anymore cause they seem to throw away money like this?? Also, it's kinda tight for cash right now!)

    Anyway wishing you a Happy New Year & lots of awesomeness in 2010!! :)

  2. Hey Layla! Happy 2010 to you too - I hope it's beautiful and magical and lovely!

    I was very pleased the university man got back to me so quicly, but I have a sneaky suspicion that if he didn't still want money from me and I hadn't have sounded soo peed off in my letter to him then he wouldn't have been quite so quick to get back to me! Money is power it seems!

    Thats so amazing - they changed their policy because of you!! WELL DONE! :D I'm inspired now - want my companies to change their policies! Anyone else who sends me junk mail or mail in a plastic bag should better beware!

    I've googled and searched for contact details for the mystery teaching magazine, I can get numbers for union reps (who provide support to people being treated unfairly at work and stuff) but not for their administration people, I'm not paying any rent at the moment so I feel a bit funny about spending ages on the phone trying to get through to the right people when I'm not contributing to the bill - so I'll just keep sending it back for now and hope they get the message! Isn't it crazy how many bits of mail companies send out - especially charities, I hear ya on that one! We get soo many letters from charities we support and I just think what a waste of money! Altough, having worked as a chairty fundraiser I know that charities separate their money into separate budgets- like some will go to advertising, some to admin, some to fundraising, and some to the people or things the chairty is helping, they only use the most effective methods to spend the money each budget, so probably their research has shown that sending magazines to sponsors is beneficial in some way, and even if they stopped they'd probably not send the money to the kids but use it in a different way within their fundraising budget (rather than their helping-the-kiddies budget), even though it would probably be more beneficial going to the kids. Which is one of the reasons I stopped being a proffessional fundraiser! lol!

  3. lol!

    WOW, you were a pro fundraiser!!
    A friend of mine only did it for a short while, in the streets of London!
    It does seem like an admirable job, still! I hear you on wishing $$$ to go to the worthy causes though!!

    lol It's awesome that you channeled your peeved-offness into something more constructive!! (Sometimes indeed people seem to need to hear others to be ticked off before they can change their behaviour and policies-?? /sigh/)


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