I have tried three of Dingbat’s journals, two of the Wildlife and one of the Earth series, left and right, above. A huge reason I chose them over others was their commitment to the environment, and their pretty covers.
I used the elephant journal and had no issues — a really good journal. I gave Mitchell the orange Tiger Wildlife journal; he is still enjoying it. The Wildlife paper was sturdy — light ghosting (like everyone’s), and bleed when I pushed it but then the paper is not meant to do the things I throw at it. While the stamp I use bleeds through on ALL journals, you can see almost no bleed, right, even when I painted the ink bottle in on the other side. That is pretty good paper!
When I finished the elephant journal I moved to the monkey journal, the Earth series.
I was sorry I hadn’t paid closer attention when ordering, because
the paper was ivory (I like to see the ink colors on white)
and the pages are all set up, numbered for indexing, etc.
I know many will like that, and it wasn’t a deal breaker for me…
I just figured next time I would make sure to buy the Wildlife series.
Then, literally the first day using it, the ribbon markers came off.
I actually use them, so that was a bummer.
But the worst was the quality of the paper.
Pen and ink combos used in the elephant journal feathered in the Wildlife journal; anything thicker than a medium fountain pen bled.
Unhappy, I contacted Dingbats to tell them and ask why the change.
The dialogue didn’t go well… I sent images, asking about
the change in the quality (I didn’t want to order more with these issues).
Mo asked me lots of questions, admitting there had been some issues.
He said he would send me a replacement, and kept asking me more and more questions.
I mean, if I sent pics, then that should do the trick (I sent many).
And I would have removed my journal pages if he had wanted to have it back
— and paid for the shipping back — but instead it was just more questions until
after a couple of days I had had enough. They knew the paper had issues —
he’d said that in on the first email. I finally pulled the plug on the back and forth.
I was never going to buy another Dingbat. And I never got a replacement.
But I would not have written a bad review… figuring two out of three journals were okay.
Then less than three weeks and the pen holder came off, right. I mean really, every time I opened the dang thing
I was annoyed. I don’t like reviewers who say bad things about a company but never contact the company. I had. The memory of the interaction plus everything else left using the journal an unpleasurable experience. Juggling Post-its to show where I was writing… constant bleed through.
Then they came out with their version of plastic disposable marker pens…
That was the last straw.
How can you say you are a company that is interested in the
environment and critters, and then go out of your way to make
PLASTIC pens that will end up in landfills and in the waters,
where they harm the critters you say you want to protect?
I wrote them again. (BTW, me writing a company is not unusual… I now write many companies to ask them to rethink their choices. I am working for the environment.)
This was their response (my bolding emphasis):
“Indeed we always celebrate ourselves by being one of the very few environmentally conscious brands available in the world today. Regarding the pens, we are actually the only brand looking into producing this type of dual tips pens made from 100% recycled post consumer waste plastic or 100% biodegradable plastic. In the meantime, we have done an interaction to the line of pens using a very small batch to get as much feedback from the market as possible about the quality and at the same time we have made them using #5 plastic. #5 plastic can normally be recycled in local curbside programs; else, mail in programs are also gaining popularity such as Preserve and you can find some more from below online resources (edited out by me, not shown):
#5 plastic can be recycled into: signal lights, battery cables, brooms, brushes, auto battery cases, ice scrapers, landscape borders, bicycle racks, rakes, bins, pallets, trays.
In addition, the boxes the pens come in are made from post consumer waste so from 100% recycled materials to reduce the footprint as much as possible in this test.
Hopefully we will figure out the way to produce the pens using recycled or biodegradable plastic and we the first ones to do so!”
So it is a plastic pen made from recyclable plastic… and…
1) There are other environmentally conscious companies —
Hahnemuhle and Clairefontaine come to mind. Both make journals.
2) The pens are not refillable.
3) They are making a non-biodegradable product that will quickly end up in the trash. Trying to pretend that telling people they can send their plastic pens to
a special waste center is hypocritical. FEW WILL DO THAT,
or even recycle them at all, so truth is, into the trash bucket!
4) Then there is the carbon footprint for shipping… give me a break.
5) Recycling plastic is also hard on the environment… in fact, much of what we send to recycling centers does not get used, even if it is the “right kind” of plastic.
These pens will end up in landfills, floating on the waterways, washing up on land, ultimately harming the critters Dingbats wants to protect.
WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD A COMPANY THAT SAYS
THEY ARE DEDICATED TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND WILDLIFE
DECIDE TO MAKE A DISPOSABLE PLASTIC PEN?
Because they are only giving lip service to their “cause.”
I won’t buy from a company that doesn’t stand behind their products
and is hypocritical about their mission statement about the environment:
“We see a future in which humans live in harmony with nature and communities committed to protect wildlife, fresh waters, forests and oceans.”
They are putting profits (disposable plastic bits are profitable)
before their mission statement.
I always finish journals… but using it is annoying the crap out of me.
I am tearing out the paper to use as scratchpads in the office and that is the end of that. Moving on to my new “1584 by Hahnemühle” notebook, a pleasure.
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“I think not….”
Me… why I journal!
©D. Katie Powell.
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