Saturday, 17 March 2018

Rhinaris: Overpackaging of Nasal Sprays Blows

This is much too much waste for a small nasal spray.
I have blogged before about wasteful packaging on nasal sprays (you can read my blog on NeilMed nasal spray here). For some reason, companies hawking nasal sprays feel the need to create an incredible amount of packaging for a very small item. Yes, it needs to be hygienic, but this could be accomplished with much less waste. My husband has the cynical, but perhaps accurate view that these companies increase packaging to make sure their product is seen on packed store shelves (click here to see my posts on other small over the counter items like Vitamin D drops for babies and probiotic drops for babies).

I opened up a box of Rhinaris nasal spray the other day and discovered a world of waste. There was a plastic bottle with a plastic cap, a separate plastic bag with the nozzle and cap in it, and there was the paper insert. After I assembled the nasal spray, I was left with lots of garbage and recycling, a plastic cap for the bottle that the nozzle ends up going into, a plastic bag from the nozzle, the plastic seal from around the top of the bottle, and the paper insert and cardboard box. Yes, some of it is recyclable, but really reducing would just be better for the world and its finite and precious resources.

Of course the box is too big.

All of this was in the box.

Everything to the left of the assembled nasal spray is waste or recycling.

Another overly large box. What a waste of cardboard.
Overpackaging like this makes me not want to buy a product, but it seems that all companies that produce nasal sprays seem to do this kind of overpackaging. Overpackaging of nasal sprays just blows.

Dole Organic Bananas: Putting Packaging on Bananas is Just Bananas

Even my baby knows that bananas have their own package; it’s called a peel. People who shout about organic produce being the best must feel chagrinned when they see products like Dole’s organic bananas. The bunch of these bananas that my husband bought the other day, had a giant strip of sticky tape as a label all the way around it, some plastic wrap  and what looked like masking tape or paper over the end of the bunch, and a plastic sticker! What a waste.

Anyone who says organic produce is better for the environment does not have this type of overpackaging in mind. A banana doesn’t need packaging. Dole’s overpackaging is just bananas.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Amazon Prime: What Are They Thinking with Their Packaging?!

Another order, another example of overpackaging from Amazon.
I have written many blog posts on Amazon Prime and their wasteful packaging since becoming a member a little less than a year ago. Unfortunately, Amazon continues to disappoint me with their voluminous and wasteful packaging (you can read my other Amazon posts here and here and here and here and here and here and here.). Despite having a feedback section where customers can report how the packaging was on their items (where one can fill in if the box was too big or just right and whether the items were adequately protected, along with leaving written comments if desired), I continue to receive overpackaged shipments with wasted cardboard, packing paper, and bubble wrap. Sometimes I will receive a well packaged shipment and hope that the Amazon overpackaging is ending and then they hit me with wasteful shipments again.

I received two packages this week from Amazon Prime. One package was bath toys for my baby. There were three varieties of toys, all very small, yet the box I received was very big. I opened it and found a ton of packing paper. When I pulled the packing paper back there was almost nothing but empty space in the box. What a waste! When is Amazon going to stop overpackaging shipments like this? Their packaging is regularly shocking (at least in my household). Yes, I can recycle packing paper and cardboard, but reducing is better than wasting precious resources.

Another big box from Amazon.

A big box with lots of packing paper.

I was stunned when I looked in the box and found all of that empty space.

What was Amazon thinking?! Such a big box for such little items.

All of this packaging from Amazon and I still had the packaging on the children's toys too.

For children's items there was not a lot of packaging. Unfortunately, Amazon negated this with their packaging.

The Playgro and Munchkin bath toys were surprisingly well packaged for children's items, but Amazon sure failed in their packaging.

Another package that arrive this week was a tiny bottle of rose hip oil. It came in a big bubble envelope. When I opened the envelope, there a tiny bubble wrapped bottle at the bottom of it. There was so much wasted space. Why was this sent in such a huge envelope? Again, what a waste of packaging materials.

I was surprised by the size of the envelope when it arrived.

I couldn't believe how much empty space there was in the envelope.

A giant envelope for a tiny bottle of oil in bubble wrap.

All of this packaging for a tiny self-sealed bottle of rose hip oil.

I will continue to fill out Amazon’s packaging feedback section on their website for my orders, but since the packaging continues to disappoint, I don’t know if I’m wasting my time. Surely, Amazon could save money by using less packaging materials and thereby have smaller shipping costs. Come on, Amazon!

Friday, 9 March 2018

What a Waste: My Sheepskin and Things Moccasins Won’t Make it Through This Winter Let Alone Next Winter

Holes in the lining and the soles falling off- not how one would expect "durable" moccasins to wear in 3 months.
I’m diverging from overpackaging for a post, as I have before to talk about wastefully made items that just create more waste and burden the environment (see a previous post I did on Forever 21 leggings that only lasted me one wear here).

At the end of November, I bought moccasins from Sheepskin and Things online. I bought one pair for my mother and one for myself. I received the moccasins on December 7th. A second box arrived at the same time with a third pair of moccasins in a different size and colour than my mother’s and mine and with an invoice with someone else’s name, address, and part of their credit card number. I immediately contacted Sheepskin and Things through their email address to tell them that I had received this other box of moccasins and asked them what I should do. I never heard anything back.

I was initially pleased with my moccasins. They were much prettier than my last moccasins, with a rabbit fur fringe and beading. They were light and comfortable to wear around my house, making excellent slippers. My place has a lot of wood floors, so I appreciated having warm slippers in the winter.

In early January, I noticed that the inside of my new moccasins, less than one month old were wearing through at the heels. I was shocked. I emailed Sheepskin and Things again. I never heard anything back. I was really disappointed and felt a fool for purchasing moccasins through their website, rather than from a store that I could take them back to.

Holes had started to form in the "sheepskin" linings of the moccasins.

In early February, when the moccasins were less than two moths old, I noticed that the bottoms of the moccasins were starting to come off as the stitching had come undone in places. I’m not sure if they are defective or just badly made, but I would expect more than two months of wear of moccasins before they start to fall apart. My other pairs of moccasins that I’ve had over the years have lasted much longer.

By two months, the holes in linings had become worse.

The soles of the moccasins were coming off already. . .

. . . in multiple places.
This time, I went to the Sheepskin and Things website, and filled in an online contact form. This time I did receive a reply. The fellow from their customer service department told me that they were switching their customer service system and that is why my emails had not been answered. I felt renewed hope that they would help me with my falling apart moccasins. They asked me to send photos of my moccasins.

I sent the photos from early January email and photos from early February. The fellow wrote back and said it looked like my moccasins had been wet from wearing them outside. I wrote back to tell him that I most certainly had not worn my moccasins, which I wear as slippers indoors only, outside. I pointed out to him that I have many, many other shoes to wear outside, including a couple of pairs of beautiful mukluks (not from their company by the way). I also said that I was really upset at the bad customer service that I had had thus far and being accused of wearing these moccasins outside.

It was obvious from looking at the photos that the stitching on the bottom of the moccasins had failed and that is why the soles were coming off. Also, the inside lining of the moccasins was clearly not just sheepskin as it had a strange net-like backing to it. Perhaps this doesn’t wear as well as true sheepskin and that is why my linings were wearing through so fast.

I heard nothing back from the customer service agent. I gave it a week and emailed back. Nothing again. I used the online form on their website again and asked if they would ever be replying to help me. I have heard nothing since. It’s been more than two months since I first contacted them about my defective moccasins.

The Sheepskin and Things website has this to say about their women’s moccasins:
“Providing Canadians and the world with only the best in Canadian made fur moccasins and fur slippers. Our fur moccasins and fur slippers are made with select soft suedes and luxurious leather. Enjoy our fur moccasins and fur slippers in the comfort of your home! Our moccasins and slippers are hand beaded with an assortment of colourful glass beads.”

The description for my particular moccasins on their website states:
“Create your own traditions with our womens [sic] Indian tan rabbit fur moccasins. These are the perfect gift for your family. These womens [sic] Indian tan moccasins are made in Canada with genuine Canadian suede and plush rabbit fur. Each womens [sic] moccasins have a hand sewn glass beaded design on the vamp that is unique to each moccasin. These moccasins are ideal for indoor wear. The suede moccasin sole is soft yet durable [emphasis added] keeping your feet warm and comfortable all year long.”

Besides stating that the moccasins are made with select/luxurious materials, that they’re ideal for indoor wear, and that they’re durable, the descriptions don’t say anything about the moccasins being destroyed if they come into contact with any water in your home (from time to time one may encounter drops of water on the floor of the bathroom or kitchen in one’s home.) In any event, they are most certainly not durable in my experience.

It’s been three months since I received the moccasins and there are holes in the “sheepskin” lining of the moccasins and the sole of each moccasin continues to come off.

Three months of wear and these moccasins look really worn out and sad on their soles . . .

. . . and in their worn out lining.

Can't believe that these moccasins are so worn out after only three months. What junk.

I feel upset every time I wear them, thinking about not only how I was ripped off, but also how the company treated me when it was clear that the moccasins were defective. I still can’t believe they chose to accuse me of wearing them outside and then never email me back. It’s one of the worst cases of customer service failure that I have ever experienced in my life. Who knows if that fellow whose moccasins got delivered to me ever got a replacement pair. And I still haven’t been told what to do with his moccasins. If I were the owner of the company, I would be embarrassed and worried if I had sent someone’s name and full address and part of their credit card number to another customer. In these days of identity theft, that’s a really bad move. Accidental or not, clearly their system needs some work.

My mother has not worn her moccasins much yet and maybe she’ll have a better experience, but given the company’s lack of customer service or willingness to stand behind the quality of my moccasins, I don’t feel optimistic.

I’ve bought many wonderful things online, but these moccasins are an example of either junk or something defective that a company won’t stand behind. It’s a shame for resources to be wasted on items that will just be thrown out before they should be. I try to buy items that will last as long as possible because that’s better than buying disposable or poorly made items that will just create more garbage in the landfill. Now I must look for a new pair of slippers soon, as these will be garbage much sooner than they should be. What a shame and what a waste.

I’ve been burned before and I’m sure I will be again shopping online, but one thing is for certain. I’ll never be buying anything from Sheepskin and Things again.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Savings on Price, but Not Necessarily Packaging

Another overly big box, half empty and with a ton of packing paper. What a waste of packaging.
A little less than a year ago, I became an Amazon Prime member. I started subscribing to various products over time using Amazon's Subscribe & Save program. Now I have several products in my subscription rotation including baby products like diapers, household cleaners and paper, and even hemp hearts. While I appreciate some of the savings, they have only been in cost and not packaging (and one has to wonder how much unnecessary packaging adds to the cost of items on Amazon).

I’ve had a variety of deliveries over the many months that I’ve tried this service. Some of the deliveries have been filled with damaged items due to inadequate packaging materials and overly large boxes, while others have been undamaged but in overly large boxes with tons and tons of packing paper. But not all of the packaging has been bad. Some packages have been done very well with the minimum amount of packing paper or bubble wrap and appropriately sized boxes.

My most recent delivery of Subscribe & Save items (this was only about half of my items for March that arrived in this box) was a repeat of Amazon’s use of overly large boxes and too much packing paper (for my other posts on Amazon's overpackaging, please see here and here and here and here and here and here.)

So much packing paper.

And a half empty box.

All of this packaging material left after. Yes, I can recycle it, but half wasn't needed, so it's still a great waste.

I can only hope that Amazon will start listening more to the report feature that they provide on their site where customers can report whether their package was well protected or not, whether the box was a good size or not, and provide written comments about the packaging if they desire. I have used this feature over and over again, but many packages that I receive from Amazon still are overpackaged with wastefully large boxes or envelopes and too much packaging materials used (or not enough in the case of Amazon regularly not wrapping liquids like cleaners with plastic and then them sometimes spilling all over the box and its contents during shipment).

Amazon ships so many packages a day all over the world, that all of their waste in packaging will add up and create a mountain of recycling, garbage, and waste that we will all come to regret. Come on, Amazon!

Friday, 23 February 2018

Vileda Bee Mop Classic Sponge Roller Mop- If You Don’t Want a Disposable Mop Don’t Buy This One

I bought one of these Vileda Bee mops at Walmart when I was preparing to move out of my last place. I used it twice and the sponge part started to fall off of the metal that anchors it to the mop. It was separating at the sides. It was useless. I was very annoyed that it only lasted two uses and I figured that it must be defective. So, I took it back to Walmart and exchanged it for a new Vileda Bee mop.

I used the new Vileda Bee mop once and then when I got it out to use it the second time, I noticed that the sponge was separating off of the metal anchor again. It was almost impossible to use with the sponge head wobbling and not making proper contact with the floor. It was infuriating. After the second use, the sponge had almost completely separated off of the metal and it can no longer be used.

The sponge started separating off the metal head of my second Vileda mop after only one use, this is after two uses.

The sponge itself on the part that touches the floor is in great shape because I've only used it twice, but it's unusable due to the sponge separating off of the metal at the back.

Two uses and this mop is garbage. What a disappointment.

Now I have an infant and I can’t just go waltzing off to Walmart every second mopping to exchange my Vileda Bee mop for a new one. So, I’m stuck with an unusable mop and have to buy a new mop (definitely a different brand) off of Amazon or some place that can deliver to my house.

I wondered if this bad mop experience was just me, so I went onto the Walmart Canada website and looked at the reviews for this mop. The average review score has to be one of the lowest I’ve ever seen on Walmart, 1.8 stars out of 5. Wow that’s bad. I just can’t believe that Vileda would continue to produce these pieces of garbage. Clearly, it’s not just my two mops that were pure junk, as so many people are experiencing the same issue that I am with the sponge head separating from the metal and becoming unusable after one or two uses. According to some reviewers and some older people that I know, these used to be good and durable mops so I don’t know what exactly went wrong, but Vileda needs to get it together and stop producing mops that will end up in the landfill almost immediately. There is no way to recycle these junk mops, so they’re just a pile of garbage and a big waste.

Crest 3D White Toothpaste: Whiter Teeth with Worrying Waste

What a waste of cardboard.

I’ve blogged before about wasteful packaging of toothpastes (you can find the post here). I’ve decided to blog about it again, because it seems like toothpaste companies are not changing their packaging of toothpaste.

My favourite toothpaste is Crest 3D White. I am not a fan of the packaging though. Not only is the box that houses the toothpaste unnecessary in my opinion (why couldn’t just a safety seal be used on the tube?), it is also larger than is needed, and very highly coloured and shiny, indicating that a lot of resources go into producing it. This is a ridiculous waste. Who is going to reuse a toothpaste box? It’s going straight into the recycling box (and this doesn’t make sense because reducing is better than recycling which is a waste of resources if the item is not even needed or used), unless the purchaser doesn’t even recycle, in which case it will be going to the landfill creating even more garbage.

This box is shiny and highly coloured. It's definitely wasteful.

So much wasted space in this box. What a waste of cardboard.

This box is too big for the tube of toothpaste and in any event completely unnecessary.

I try to buy the largest size of toothpaste that I can, so that I reduce the number of boxes that come out of my toothpaste use (smaller toothpastes seem to have even more overlarge boxes, perhaps because companies think that they can trick us into thinking the tubes of toothpaste are larger than they actually are), but really, I would just prefer it if they abandoned their box system all together. I have seen lipsticks and other cosmetics and skin care items that come with no box and only a safety seal. Why can’t we do this for toothpastes and reduce the waste and impact on the world that we make when we brush our teeth?