Tag Archives: captain planet

In the Amazon, down with trees, up with packaging

A photo illustration of some recent Inverted Soapbox mail order purchases:

This was the box in which my 13-inch Macbook arrived:


This is the box in which the Caselogic neoprene sleeve ordered from Amazon for said MacBook arrived, a week later:


With this much packaging:



Which, all laid out, was about 15-20 feet worth of air-filled plastic pocket wrap.

Here is how the box for the original laptop fits inside the box used to ship the product intended to cover and protect said laptop:


And here’s the laptop sleeve, on top of the box of the computer it is intended to protect, inside the box in which the sleeve arrived:


So, I hardly need to say, I found all this above ridiculous, beyond ridiculous, into new levels of post-diculousness, that a company as savvy (and surely conscious of its overheads, if not the environment) as Amazon would make such a foolish choice in shipping strategy, especially considering they’re named after a FRIGGIN RAIN FOREST. Because truly, what could have happened in the mail to a product that had the sole purpose of acting as a protective covering to another sensitive product? If the sleeve truly lived up to its product description on the site, Amazon should have been able to just slap a stamp and address label on it and send it on its way, or at the very most cram it into a pyrex envelope. Instead, by some accident or obtuse reasoning, they packaged the protective sleeve in more protective packaging and a gigantic box, creating more waste, more cardboard that has to be shipped then hauled off by carbon-spewing¬†recycling¬†trucks, and took up more space on the UPS van so that fewer items could fit in a single load, thusly creating more trips and more gas miles, etc etc.

I don’t have much to add to this beyond that I encourage everyone to take note of their packaging when it arrives, and not to hesitate to give Amazon or whomever a blogful of your thoughts on the matter when necessary. As you do in this low-transaction cost age (thank you Clay Shirky), I immediately took to the Amazon web site to find the nearest feedback forum to vent, and immediately found a “Leave packaging feedback” option. It looks like the below and lets you tell whether the packaging was too small, or way too big, though there’s no option for “Captain Planet’s Mullet of Shame.”

The screen and my comments, are this:

As I said above, Amazon is mostly a lovable company, but I would certainly have spent the extra money to buy this in a store to save on the packaging alone. Clearly Amazon must be conscious of packaging issues since they have a feedback option dedicated to it, so why did they still decide to ship in this fashion? I’m not expecting a response from them, though I would be eager to hear their response.

Whattya think, Cap’n?

Happy Earth Day!

hes our hero

he's our hero

And hey, remember this Washington Post story about the guy in DC who brought his Hummer to a Prius-lined street and got the crap vandalized out of it? Inverted Soapbox does not condone such actions. But Inverted Soapbox does laugh at them.