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By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Deforestation Hardware

Uploaded: Jun 25, 2014

OK, time for some new tableware. The dinner plates all have chips and surprisingly for me, I have never owned a complete set of cutlery. Maybe I'll go down to Restoration Hardware and see what they got. Oh wait, I don't have to go anywhere – they just sent the entire store to me – all 2000 pages worth. I thought someone left a step stool on my front porch. What is that thing?


Did you get it? Seems like everyone in Portola Valley and Woodside did. We also heard Alameda, Palo Alto and Marin.

Interesting marketing decision. Blanket the eco SF Bay with a 17-pound paper brick, (oh, but their shipping is carbon neutral) because if they send a bigger catalog, they make more money. That's the bottom line.

Thank goodness Woodside resident and environmental champion Nancy Reyering led our entire neighborhood in a catalog cleanup, collecting over 120 massive missives (over 2000#). A group of us hauled them back to the Palo Alto store in protest.



When we walked in the manager wasn't even phased and quickly asked us to "deliver the rest to the back door." That was our one mistake. We should have dumped them on busy University Ave. Channel 7 was there after all – it would have made a good shot.

So I guess this the new normal now? In order to keep up with the corporate Joneses every company will now deliver our own personal 17-pounds-of-nothing annually to our doorstep? As another neighbor, high school student Erin Broderick eloquently stated, "It's crazy. Grocery stores aren't even allowed to give us a paper bag!"

Seriously, the excuse is bigger catalogs make more money, but to what end? The sake of the environment and y'know, the future? Can someone please tell me what is the price of polluting? We'll just add that to the bottom line. In fact CEO Gary Friedman, I'll leave the bill (and the catalogs) on the doorstep of your eco-groovy Marin home.

I am done with all the green washing. It's not ok to claim forest-or-farm-to-factory-or-fork just for another buck.

Capitalist or greedy? American values, or just plain selfish? Am I missing something?

Ask questions. Take action. Get off the RH mailing list. Vote with your dollars.

Thanks to Mike of Atherton for the title of this blog.



Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by 12 now or 1 per month, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Jun 25, 2014 at 8:52 am

If I collected a year's worth of Boden, Mini Boden, and Atheta catalogs, each one, I bet would make a bigger pile that this from RH.

In all honesty I bet one single delivery is more efficient wrt energy used to deliver, but the reality of it all hit home with some people: We get an extraordinary amount of catalogs in the mail.
Just because the others do not do it all at once does not mean you are getting any less junk paper catalogs.
It was a stupid more that proved to everyone we have a problem with all the catalogs coming at us from everywhere.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by A Single Guy, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Jun 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

As a lowly Mountain View resident, I didn't get the catalog. Oh well.

Over years, I have used dmachoice.org and catalogchoice.org (a.k.a. TrustedID) to unsubscribe from various catalog subscriptions, including those addressed to previous tenants.

According to catalogchoice.org, I have saved 1 tree, 190 pounds of greenhouse gas, 68 pounds of solid waste, and 457 gallons of water.

Especially in a drought year, it is worth pointing out that paper production requires a lot of water.

I applaud your community's grass roots cleanup drive, thanks for sharing another wonderful story!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

I suppose if we did go into the store and buy something, they would ask us if we want a bag for 10c?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by 100% bicycle commuter, a resident of another community,
on Jun 25, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Well done!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Nancy, a resident of Woodside: other,
on Jun 25, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Well done, Laura! Here's a link to get RH to stop sending this mass of junk mail:

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Nancy, a resident of Woodside: other,
on Jun 25, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Here is a great article on Huffington Post debunking RH's environmental claims:

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford,
on Jun 25, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Brava, Laura, and great title, Mike of Atherton!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Jun 26, 2014 at 8:06 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

I agree 12 now or 1 per month. This massive mailing may have awakened us to the cumulative effect of our collective catalog addiction, and for that we can "thank" RH. Time for a change!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by RH shopper, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 27, 2014 at 7:45 pm

" That was our one mistake. We should have dumped them on busy University Ave. Channel 7 was there after all – it would have made a good shot."
So you think it is okay to dump stuff on a public street? Isn't that littering? What about the inconvenience to the pedestrians?
Yes, you did miss your photo-op but I thought this was about outrage over the mailing, not personal glory


 +  Like this comment
Posted by UC Davis Grad, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 28, 2014 at 3:53 pm

@RH "shopper" (stop the pretense, we all know you're a higher up with RH): What about the inconvenience to those who received these unwanted "bricks"? Isn't THAT the definition of littering?

RH destroyed what good will they may have had in this area.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by RH shopper, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 28, 2014 at 4:48 pm

UC Davis grad-- actually the definition of.littering is quite different. You would know that if you were a CEO of a company like I am. And yes, dumping the catalogs on the sidewalk would be littering. The sidewalk is public and not owned by RH. Anyway, shoppers are continuing to,shop at out DT store-- so there may have been a slight loss of good will, but not for long. Naturally only in a city like Palo Alto would this be considered an earth shattering event. Try helping the less fortunate in the world, like our company does.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by UC Davis Grad, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 29, 2014 at 12:46 pm

@RH "shopper" -- Quite frankly, your business should be boycotted. And I hope it is driven out of business, given your mindset.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by RH shopper, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm

UC Davis grad-- feel free to organize a boycott. RH will be in business long after your outrage is forgotten. Oh, and BTW, you seemed so sure that I am a " higher up" with RH , that I did not want to burst your bubble. I do not work for RH. I just find all this outrage and gnashing of teeth and fulminating, so Palo Alto.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Eva_PA, a resident of Ventura,
on Jun 30, 2014 at 11:08 am

Eva_PA is a registered user.

There is no way i received 17 lbs of catalogs from RH last year, maybe one catalog? I also challenge the RH contention that it somehow reduces the carbon footprint. But even if that were the case, one would think that one of the management decision makers would have looked at that stack and been uncomfortable with the size. I would hate to be in the room when this debacle was discussed...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Eva_PA, a resident of Ventura,
on Jun 30, 2014 at 11:08 am

Eva_PA is a registered user.

There is no way i received 17 lbs of catalogs from RH last year, maybe one catalog? I also challenge the RH contention that it somehow reduces the carbon footprint. But even if that were the case, one would think that one of the management decision makers would have looked at that stack and been uncomfortable with the size. I would hate to be in the room when this debacle was discussed...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cassie, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on Jun 30, 2014 at 8:24 pm

I got one and I live 250 miles from here. And no, I do not have a kitten or dog to put on my floors for them to use. Complete waste of trees.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community,
on Jul 1, 2014 at 2:49 am

Sparty is a registered user.

" That was our one mistake. We should have dumped them on busy University Ave. Channel 7 was there after all – it would have made a good shot."

no surprise. Most of your screeds seem to be written with the mindset of a college freshman home for Thanksgiving trying to shock grandma and grandpa with their new purple mohawk


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community,
on Jul 1, 2014 at 2:54 am

Sparty is a registered user.

Somewhere the irony is lost in regards to week after week of PA Weeklys left behind in machines that collect trash and graffiti.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Jul 1, 2014 at 6:15 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Oh everyone .... The action and this blog isn't about me me me or even the books. It's about awareness (with a sprinkle attempt at funny....) A "good shot," is a best strategy toward that, especially with the young people (i.e. college freshman with mohawks). If it ain't fun...it don't get done!
Good choice Sparty though. Purple is my favorite color.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Recycler, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables,
on Jul 1, 2014 at 5:53 pm

The worst offender is the distributor of those weekly circulars. They go straight to recycling. At least the Weekly sometimes has content worth reading, and there are probably people who don't read it online.

Most of the catalogs around here were delivered on one of the hottest days this year. I fully expected to see the delivery people passed out on the sidewalk. How insensitive of RH to inflict the output of their brilliant marketing idea on so many people who did not request it.

I've spent thousands of dollars at RH the last few years but no more. I will be happy never to grace that store with my credit card again.



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