Consumerism Calamity

Dear readers. 

You would not believe some of the emails that I receive in my inbox.  People ask me to promote all sorts of things, from chemical fertilizers to free trips to car shows in Sydney, to eco television sets, all with the offer of a free sample or perks.

To put your mind at ease, I have never been tempted to take up any of these offers, because I hold true to my values, and besides, I would be a total hypocrite if I did.

Most recently, I received this offer, which will make you either cringe or chuckle.

Hi blogger,

Thanks for taking some time to read this email. I am Antonio, the leader of xxxxx blog team and I am looking for partnership among bloggers. I found that your blog was really active, popular and contended, so here I wonder if there’s any possibility that you cooperate with us.

Here’s the general plan of the cooperation:

First, xxxxxx will send you a FREE pair of high quality and fashionable glasses or sunglasses (you don’t need to pay any fee). After getting the eyewear, you just need to write an objective and real review for it and post the review to your blog. Plus, xxxxxx launched a program offering free eyewear for first-time buyers. Therefore, you can also invite your readers to try our products for free. They just need to pay the shipping. Perhaps your lovely readers will love this program, especially for those who need eyewear.

xxxxxxx is the world’s most popular online eyeglasses store. We have always been committed ourselves to offering customers the best quality products at the most affordable prices. For this reason, we have gained a solid reputation and trust from almost 500,000 fans on facebook.

Please reply to xxxxxxxxxx if you are interested in the cooperation. We are looking forward to your response.
Best regards 


Here is my reply. I might have been a little harsh, yet realistic.

Dear Antonio,

If you had taken the time to actually read my blog, you would have found that one of my values is anti-consumerism. I believe that blatant and excessive consumerism as you are promoting in your email is one of the problems of our time.

Have you never thought of where the materials to make those sunglasses that you are so fond of come from? It comes from oil, which is something that will be in short supply in the very near future.

So enjoy your sunglass business while you can, because in a few years you will wonder why you even sent me an email.

So thanks, but no thanks.


P.S. If you want to learn about sustainable living, and growing your own food, it is not to late to start!

I had to laugh as I was relying, because the other day, a fellow blogger friend, The Frugal Queen, aka Froogs to her mates, posted a page telling prospective advertisers of tat not to even consider approaching her for this very type of offer.  You can read her page here, as it is a great message.  So to back her up and many other ad free blogs, I too have decided to go advert free to be true to my convictions.  I do, however leave a sponsor space for my podcast, which I do need to start up again because I know lots of you like them.  Oh, and I left the promotion for my book(s).

Anyway dear reader, do you receive endless spam in your email inbox?  What does it tell you about the state of our civilization?

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  1. says

    I am so heartened to read this Gavin. I have recently left a few blogs over the past few months who have started to really push a lot of advertising and “sponsorship”. I will NEVER be a party to consumerism on my blog and I value that in others. Thanks for sticking to your principles as I know you could potentially make money from them if you wanted. You have kept me as a reader for sure

  2. says

    Good on you Gavin. It has really bothered me that I am not even free from advertising in reading the blogs I love most. Is anything sacred???

  3. says

    I support your right to speak and write as you choose. Can you elaborate on what you see as consumerism versus legitimate purchasing of goods?

  4. says

    I wouldn’t expect anything else from my greenie guru blog friend! The spam I get seems to have a lot of ‘lovely Russian ladies’ in it. LOL

  5. says

    Bravo! It can be really tempting to accept a freebie or a payday, but staying true to your conscience in the face of such temptation is always the right course. :)

    I have struggled with this same issue. I decided to put up an “A-store” through Amazon on my blog, with very few products, and only those that are true to my beliefs and that I can personally vouch for. I still am a little conflicted about having it, but I’m thinking of it more as a potential resource for my friends and readers, rather than a revenue stream, which it most certainly isn’t.

    So I have it there, rather discreetly placed, for now. Seeing as no one has ever used it, I don’t feel like I’m encouraging or profiting from consumption, but the fact that my site is not 100% free of associated links does nag at me sometimes. Having a conscience is a pain in the butt sometimes! 😉

    Kudos to you for turning them down flat. :)

  6. says

    Well done and total respect! I too hate this kind of thing. Hoping no-one hits me up to spruike this crap on my blog but I will take note of how you’ve handled it.

Comments build lively communities. Let me know your thoughts, but keep it clean and green! Spam is removed instantly.