Saturday, 29 January 2011

A message to WH Smith

Tried to buy a sketch pad from WH Smith today for Number 2 son today, but could not find one that used paper from a sustainable source (as opposed to an unsustainable source such as a chopped down rainforest, or ancient Finnish woodland). The upshot of this was the email to WH Smith shown below.  

"Dear WH Smith
Many years ago, when the world was still young, and there were only three TV channels, my father bought me a sketch pad from WH Smith. I filled it up with carefully drawn pictures, a pastime which I fondly remember even now. I still have the sketchbook, in a box in the attic.

The world has changed since then, of course. These days many people, myself included, try to ensure that any paper they purchase is from a sustainable source, such as being FSC certified or recycled.

As it is wont to do, life has come full circle, and my own son asked me to buy him a sketchbook. I was delighted at this request, and knew immediately where to purchase such a thing. But, to my dismay, none of the many sketch books at WH Smith used paper from a sustainable source - which left me feeling that this was not an important issue for you.

I hope you are able to adopt a more sustainable sourcing policy for your sketch pads in the future. But failing that, I have noticed that Sainsburys stock a sketch pad made from FSC certified paper, so in this particular instance I've bought one of those.

Building for the Future likes to dole out a bit of praise along with any complaints, so it seemed only fair to also send the following, somewhat less poetic, message to Sainsburys:

"My son asked me to but him a sketch pad. Initially I went to WH Smith but they did not have any that were made from sustainably sourced paper (FSC certifiied or recycled). By chance, I noticed later that you do sell such a product (bar code 0141 5858) so I have bought one of those. Thank you for using FSC paper for this product."

You can find out more about the effects of deforestation and how you can ensure that any paper products you buy are not contributing to this, at the links below :

http://www.fsc-uk.org/?page_id=5
http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/tags/pulp-and-paper
http://ifees.org.uk



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