Asking JR Watkins company for product refills and post consumer/recycled packaging

7/21/2017
I wrote this (admittedly, rambling) note to JR Watkins company, asking for refills and the use of packaging made from recycled post consumer waste:

I love your lemon all purpose cleaner. I like the grapefruit, too.

I feel badly about throwing out the bottle and would rather refill it. Do you offer (or will you please consider offering) refills for the lemon (&/or grapefruit) all purpose cleaner to reduce use of plastics.

It would also be really terrific, since your products are made of natural/biodegradable ingredients (which is one of the main reasons I purchase them over other choices), if you would make the bottles out of reclaimed/post consumer waste! Maybe you could help create a market for ocean plastic. Doing this, creating a demand for these pollutants by making them a commodity, would inspire some work on removing plastics from the earths waters! This would be good for EVERYONE! It certainly would be a boost to the bona fides of your product. Not only would your product be earth friendly, but its packaging would be earth friendly, too.

In summary, please create refills for all your products (I did see that Target online offers a refill for the hand soap at a reasonable price) dispenser AND package all your products in materials derived from post consumer/recycled waste. THANK YOU!

Emily Gleichenhaus
Arlington, VA

PS: Project PUT: Pick Up Trash
ProjectPUT.org

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Addendum, 7/22/2017

Response from JR Watkins:

Hello Emily,

Thank you for contacting JR Watkins. Unfortunately Watkins does not have a refill for the all-purpose cleaners. Watkins is committed to making products that are safe and environmentally friendly. All of our packaging is comprised of BPA-free plastics, and we do not source packaging that may contain BPA. JR. Watkin plastic bottles are also recyclable, and we are committed to using minimal packaging made from environmentally-friendly materials.

Currently Watkins only offers a refill size for the liquid hand soaps. I will forward your suggestion to the appropriate department for consideration.

Watkins appreciates your interest and hopes to continue to provide you with quality natural products.

Regards,

Laura Pozek | Customer Satisfaction Representative

J.R. Watkins | http://www.JRWatkins.com

150 Liberty Street | Winona, MN 55987 | 800-243-9423 | WebHelp@JRWatkins.com

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A Note to Starbucks

I went to Starbucks with Charlie this morning. They do an amazing business. But the waste generated by their products is overwhelming. I decided to write them:

Dear Starbucks,
I really enjoy your coffee and snacks.
But I am REALLY concerned about the amount of WASTE, especially PLASTIC WASTE generated by your stores.
Can’t you make your plastic cups out of 100% post consumer waste?
That would make you a hero company.
Couldn’t you offer paper straws? That would make you a hero company, too.
Couldn’t you ENCOURAGE the plastic cups to be put in recycle? That would make you a hero company.
Couldn’t you find a way to make your paper cups recyclable?
Couldn’t you at least make your paper cups out of 100% post consumer waste (instead of a sorry 10%)?
You’re smart people. Couldn’ t you figure that out?
And, if you did these things, as an industry leader, you know other companies would follow suit, so your efforts would be multiplied.
PLEASE be a HERO COMPANY!
Please be a leader on this and make things better for earth.

PS: Here’s a link to their Contact Us page:
https://customerservice.starbucks.com/app/contact/ask/

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A Note to Jeff Bezos at Amazon

I wrote an email to Jeff Bezos at Amazon today.  I found an email address for him online.  I wonder if he’ll get it.  I wonder if he’ll respond.  I wonder if he’ll decide to lead the world in innovative, sustainable packaging that is made from post-consumer waste, labelled for what it is made of and that also encourages its customers to reduce, reuse and recycle.

I hope he does.

Here is my email to him:

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6/1/2017

Dear Jeff Bezos,

The US president just announced his intention to remove our country from the ground breaking Paris Accord. The USA, in many ways, does not lead the world any more. We can’t claim moral or intellectual high ground. And what ideals can we point to that most developed nations don’t do better than us? That’s really depressing.

We need to find great leaders somewhere. You are a world leader in online commerce. Maybe you could also lead the world in innovation for a better planet.

Could you start with your packaging? I order products I need (and many I don’t “need”) from Amazon every week and have become concerned about the waste associated with the packaging. Could Amazon PLEASE become a world leader in innovative, sustainable, packaging that is both made from recycled materials and that is also recyclable? You could make sure people know the post-consumer waste used in making the packing materials and you could inspire people to recycle or re-use the packaging in other ways.

Maybe you could also use your status as a leader in online commerce to help delivery companies upgrade their trucks to use electric and solar power for fuel instead of burning fossil fuels.

If Amazon leads the way, other companies will follow. If you lead the way, maybe you can show our government officials that there is a better way to do things than to just give in to trashing the planet with waste. If you lead the way, history will remember the great things you did for not only commerce but also for your leadership and innovation in packaging and delivery in ways that don’t harm the planet. Wouldn’t that be terrific?

I want to feel good about buying things from Amazon. Could you help me (and the Planet Earth) with that?
Will you be a global leader?
Thank you,
Emily Gleichenhaus
Arlington, VA

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Addendum, 6/21/2017

I do order many things from Amazon.  I have discovered that if you go to the order section of your account page, you can make your way to a page for leaving packaging feedback for every purchase.

This is a great opportunity to ask them to please use boxes made from 100% post consumer waste and to please mark their boxes to encourage recycling.

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Patriotic or Religious? I think what you DO is much more important than what you BELIEVE. Practice ACTIVE SERVICE!

Memorial Day 2017

Dear Friends,

I fully admit in this moment to sitting on high horse which is also standing on a soap box. But it is for a good cause!

Going to a Memorial Day event today has made me thoughtful about the idea of SERVICE. I BELIEVE in service. And what I believe is that belief is not good enough. What one DOES is sooooooo much more important than what one believes. In this vein, just going around and waving a flag and calling yourself an American is not good enough. What do you DO for your country, the beautiful land you live on, and its citizens? This leads me to ask, what is service? I think service is any action you take, for which you are not the direct beneficiary, that makes your community, your country, the planet, a better place.

I’ve seen and read much lately, for example, of the damage our use of plastics and those plastics migrating into and polluting our waterways. I can’t think of anything more PATRIOTIC than to practice recycling to the very best of your ability, do what you can to reduce your consumption of plastics (and this might even include writing companies whose products you buy to ask them to use post-consumer waste in their packaging and to find better packaging alternatives than plastics), and to PICK UP TRASH whenever you see it. Don’t just walk by it. PICK IT UP. If you don’t pick it up, it will likely ultimately end up in the water.

I also think that any place I’ve written something about patriotism above, you can insert your religion and belief in God. IMHO, the active practice of service is just as important to both patriotism and religion.

I really believe this: If you consider yourself a spiritual or religious person and/or if you consider yourself a patriotic American, you will devote yourself to the stewardship of our great land and work to uphold protections of air, water, food, and earth and you will do whatever you can to reduce waste, recycle what you can, and pick up trash when you see it.

Love,
Emily

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Posters by Emily for Earth Day 2017

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SAVE ME Earth ELEG 2017 - smaller
SAVE Me (Earth), Earth Day 2017 ELEG
Poster by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
To view or print this poster, click, here:
SAVE ME Earth ELEG 2017 smaller

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I'm With Her Earth Day 2017 - Copy
I’M WITH HER Earth Day Poster 2017 by ELEG
Poster by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
To view or print this poster, click, here:
I’m With Her Earth Day 2017

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Writing Crest Toothpaste about the materials they use to make their tubes.

I was about to throw out a used up tube of Crest toothpaste when the crest.com website caught my eye. I decided to write them about their packaging:

https://crest.com/en-us/contact-us

Dear Crest,

Every time we finish up a tube of toothpaste, I feel rotten throwing the tube in the trash. Do we really need to pollute the earth just to brush our teeth or leave non-biodegradable garbage for future generations to wad through.

Could Crest put its toothpaste tubes out of post-consumer waste? If not, why not? And could you please make your packaging recyclable? It’s because I care about the earth we live on and I don’t want to contribute to crapping it up for my grandchildren.

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Addendum, 4/25/2017

I got a great email response from Crest:

Hi Emily,

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us here at Crest. I’m sorry to hear you’re disappointed with our package design. I want to assure you I’ll be sharing your feedback with our design and manufacturing teams. I’d also like to provide you with some information on what we do to maintain good environmental practices.

As part of our strategy to grow responsibly, our environmental efforts are guided and inspired by our long-term environmental sustainability vision that includes:

Powering our plants with 100% renewable energy

Using 100% renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging

Having zero consumer and manufacturing waste go to landfills

Designing products that delight consumers while maximizing our conservation of resources

This vision is stretching and will take decades to achieve. To ensure we are making progress toward this vision, we have set specific, measurable goals within our environmental focus areas of Products and Operations.

I thank you again for getting in touch. Your feedback is very important to us and if there’s anything else I can help you with please don’t hesitate to contact us again.

Curtis
Crest Team

Need to get back in touch? Please do not change the subject line, just hit reply. This makes sure we receive your message.

I took them up on their offer to REPLY back with the following:

Dear Crest Customer Care,
 
Thank you for getting back to me.
 
I read this to mean that they have PLANS to be environmentally responsible, but you are not yet, in reality, making a practice of or implementing these goals.  I also don’t know how much you have achieved these goals and if your stated goals are just lip service to shut people like me up.  It would be great if you would publish their progress on these goals, speak out and inspire other companies to do the same (and giving them “best practice” advice on how they can do it), state ON THE PACKAGING the extent to which it is made from reclaimed materials, and if you would made the tubes recyclable (and, again, labeled them as such).
Thank you.

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I wrote the NY Times about their move hiring a reporter that is a Climate Change Denier

I don’t understand how the NY Times can defend hiring a Climate Science denier at the same time the NY Times is professing to be a beacon of truth with slogans like, “Truth.  It has no alternative.” Especially when they then go and defend their decision by saying that “millions of people agree with him.”  No matter how many people believe a lie, it’s still a lie.  Millions believing something untrue does not make it true.

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New York Times defends hiring extreme climate denier: ‘millions agree with him’
https://thinkprogress.org/new-york-times-defends-hiring-extreme-climate-denier-millions-agree-with-him-1655c23a524c

I wrote Liz Spayed who is the Public Editor. The “Contact Us” page on NY Times says the job of the, “public editor, Liz Spayd, looks at issues of journalistic integrity and news judgment at The New York Times.”

Here’s link to NY Times Contact Us Page:
http://www.nytimes.com/help/index.html?redir=myacc#newsroom

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write them to protest this move!!

Here’s what I wrote (out of complete disbelief and desperation) on 4/16/2017:

Dear Public Editor Liz Spayed:

I’m deeply concerned after reading that the NY Times has hired a contributor who is a climate change denier and that the paper has defended this decision by saying that millions of people agree with this person’s views. Is this the truth? The Washington Post created the tagline “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” This means that the light of truth is what keeps democracy alive. Doesn’t The New York Times also seek to shine the light of Truth on the darkness? It seems to me it would seek to do that. Then why, for the love of God, would NY Times give voice to the darkness? The fact that millions of people believe (conveniently) the lie of climate denial does not invalidate the truth. It makes the mission of Truth all the more important. To me, climate denial IS THE DARKNESS. Climate Denial is a lie, a sham. It is anti-science and anti-intellectualism at its most basic level. Climate Denial might be convenient, but it is dangerous and wrong.

I’ve looked to the NY Times as a shining light in the darkness. We are long time readers and subscribers. Is the New York Times going to be just as unreliable, a liar, just like Brietbart or Fox?

How can anyone trust NY Times reporting is you are giving into the lies of the dark side? What is going on? Is this capitulation? What has the NY Times done????

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Addendum 4/17/2017

I got an email back responding to my concern:

Dear Ms. Gleichenhaus,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We appreciate your concern, one which has been shared by a number of readers. The public editor has raised these concerns with the editor of editorial and, as she noted on Twitter, she will be addressing the issue in her column.

I hope this helps. Please do not hesitate to write to us if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Thanks again for writing, and for reading The Times.

Best regards,
Evan Gershkovich
Office of the Public Editor