No Paper Please

It’s still me – just a new hosting company, new design (there’s a nifty add-on in the sidebar on the right – scroll down – and another on the home page – link oop top!) and the blog’s at (the old one “” doesn’t work any more). 

It’s that time of year!

Since I didn’t renew my RHS membership back in March my local-authority-supplied kerbside paper recycling box has been unused. I don’t buy newspapers; I subscribe to online editions. I’m registered with Royal Mail’s “unaddressed mail opt-out” service; there’s a “no junk mail-no catalogues-no charity recyling bags” sticker on the letterbox; bills are all “online” save for the local council’s tax demands. So I have little paper to recycle most of the time. When Saga discovered I’d reached their qualifying age and started sending me offer letters for over-priced car/home/me insurance, funeral plans, stairlifts and wotnot, my shredder had to work a bit harder (and still does, Saga, please note, I don’t open the envelopes, just shred them with contents) to produce a volume of shreddings that gets saved up to mix with grass cuttings in the compost bin.

Actually I don’t really need the paper shreddings. I can’t avoid cardboard boxes and the torn up cardboard (minus globs of glue and any staples) is more than ample for my needs.

Most of the companies I buy stuff from have got the message and offer options for email/web only communications. Sarah Raven is an exception. I bought a pack of plants from her a few years ago in a sort of emergency – she was the only source I could find when slugs got into the greenhouse and destroyed every last one of my cosmos plants. She must have spent more on postage for the catalogues she keeps sending me than I paid for that pack of plants. The shredder does its thing though. As it does with Dobies who keep sending me catalogues advertising the stuff I’ve already bought from them online having received an email alert that the stuff’s on their web site.

I remember some years ago receiving, out of the blue, a catalogue from Thompson and Morgan with an accompanying letter informing me that unless I bought something from them “this year” they wouldn’t be sending any more catalogues. As I’d bought seeds and plants from them every year for as long as I could remember and never seen a catalogue before this came as a surprise. But that year, to be safe, I didn’t spend anything with them and so have never received a paper catalogue since. We conduct business happily online.

But thank God Christmas comes but once a year! It coincides with the daily thwock of catalogues falling to the floor below the letterbox. When I say “daily” I’m not exaggerating. This year I’ve received more catalogues than Christmas cards (particularly as the number of friends who, like me, now donate to charities what they would have spent on stamps keeps growing). I have a pile of cardboard ready to mix into the compost bin; I have two black bags of shredded paper ready to mix into the compost bin! I don’t want any more.

So, for Christmas, I’ve dusted off that paper recycling box and it’s full of unwanted catalogues. Unopened, unread catalogues!

I wonder how much the price of seeds and plants could be reduced if all the companies didn’t fork out their cash to pay for the printing and delivery of all the catalogues.

Is it too much to ask that these companies provide some way for us to opt not to receive junk mail? If Bakker, Jersey Plants, Thompson and Morgan and others can do it, why not the lot?

8 thoughts on “No Paper Please

  1. I live in Italy, john; where if you sign any contract (phone etc.) to change something with the bank you are given a thick wadge of pages, plus there are the ones they keep for their files (or do they bin them as I usually do mine. If I shredded all our unwanted paper my compost would be 90% paper! I try to do everything on line too but would you believe that when we wanted to change the direct debit with the phone company they wanted a copy sent by FAX – who knew that fax was still in existence. But anyway, enough moaning for today – well done with your war on paper waste.

  2. I struggle to find enough newspaper any more to light my wood-burner, John Luckily, Jim works for some clients who have stacks of the Daily Mail – perfect fire-lighting stuff if of little other use. Like you, cardboard and all other non-glossy paper goes on the compost heaps. How clever are those worms? Well, not very but they do the job. I seem to have left behind unwanted catalogues by moving house. There’s your answer! D

    1. I don’t know if I would allow Daily Mail paper into my compost heap! Don’t have a wood-burner: house is too modern. It’s got a living flame open gas fire that resident cat loves “chasing”. I shred and compost glossy paper without any evident problems (it’s no longer radioactive) and I don’t worry about coloured inks either. The worms don’t seem to mind any of it. BTW, did you scroll down on the right a bit? It’s all automatic; updates when you do. Better than a simple blogroll, eh?

      1. Sorry, I thought I’d be notified of your reply somehow magically. But no. Good news re the glossies, I shall amend my composting regime forthwith. And yes I like your updating blog roll very much. Are you as I don’t think I have the option wirh

        1. Rather awkwardly, WordPress only allows you to subscribe to comments either once you’ve commented on a blog (subscribe via the comment form) or via your dashboard. Why people can’s subscribe to posts and comments via the subscribe widget escapes me. As does why can I only manage blog subscribers on my dashboard; I cannot manipulate comment subscriptions at all.

          I’m self-hosted as I’ve found it’s more flexible than WordPress hosting. (I’m not actually with “” – no-one is – as .org is effectively a resource. All the authentication, comment management -spam filtering – and subscriptions are still handled by They have a wonderful plugin called “Jetpack” which gives us self-hosters access to all the features that you get with WordPress hosting. So we have the best of both worlds – all the functionality you have at plus a far larger range of themes, plugins and widgets to download from

          For me, the updating blogroll is a feature of the the Jetpack plugin and uses a widget “Display WordPress Posts”. You should have that widget available as part of the core WordPress widget collection. Each blog I feature uses an instance of that widget so 10 blogs means I add the widget 10 times to the widget area. It’s then a one-off configuration for each blog. Including a picture is optional at my end but then it requires the setting of a featured image for the post at your end. You’ll notice that not all blogs on my roll have images. A post may comprise only an image (e.g. Wordless Wednesday) but if that’s not set as the featured image it won’t appear here. Hope that helps.

          1. Hi John, yes I have subscribed to comments before on blogs but have regretted it when my inbox quickly filled up with comments from someone’s busy post. But I’ll have to revisit that decision, if only on yours and Charles’ blogs..

            I’ve very recently considered going self-hosted but, having changed platform once before (blogger to wp), I’m nervous of doing so again. I know that isn’t strictly the same as changing to but the blogger transfer wasn’t as easy as I’d believed, with plenty of unforeseen problems and though I’m sure going self-hosted would be less fraught, I still dread the extra hours of infuriating ‘problems’ that I just know will be inevitable. They always are. An update to Outlook caused me a real headache and a recent update to the post-editor in WP has also meant hours of extra research … instead of just, you know, writing. But I will reconsider in the future. I don’t think your blog-roll thingy is available to me on but I’ll double check. Many of the very cool widgets available through Jetpack just aren’t on D

  3. Wondered what happened to you John, hadn’t received notice of a new post for so long… Thought maybe Charles took you on some wild hike and got you lost on a mountain somewhere!

    1. Ha! I don’t walk with Charles (apart from around his garden!). I have a general desire to get to wherever I’m intending to go. Charles and a map are rather incompatible!

Comments are closed.