One thing that Amazon can be really good at, is safely sending you that new item you just ordered online. In fact, it seems they have one of the highest success rates of undamaged shipments. Mostly thanks to the fact that they sometimes leave a lot of space in a box that is filled in with some kind of protective stuffing–typically, bags of air or crushed paper. Because of this, you might get something that comes to your door in a box three times its own size (or greater even).
If you also find yourself spending a lot of time shopping on Amazon, you likely have quite the collection of boxes and materials building up. So it comes into question: what do you do with it all? It would be quite a bit of waste to let it go straight to the trash.
MSN recently brought this into question, highlighting that Amazon needs to reduce the amount of packaging they use every year. Amazon (more so Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO) recently announced their pledge to fight climate change to the cost of the $10 billion dollars they are dumping into the initiative. So if they are so concerned, why are they creating so much waste for all of their shipments?
This could sound terrible depending on how you word it. However, what would happen to their success rate of getting you your order in on be piece every time you order something if they significantly cut back on these materials? Could they still find a successful way of protecting your precious orders, or will it lead to an increased risk of damage?
Instead, we believe that responsibility is absolutely shared with the buyer, making for the perfect compromise. if you find yourself ordering many packages from Amazon then it is up to you to also make sure that the packaging used to ship these products to you is properly recycled or reused for other purposes. Then, it wouldn’t be considered waste at all.
Clearly, if you don’t want to hold onto them, the best strategy is to break them down and toss them in with the recyclables. Just about everything surrounding these packages and the packaging inside can be recycled and put right back into use again. If your city doesn’t have a recycling program that comes straight to your door (typically the trash company), you can use Give Back Box, which allows you to schedule a free label to ship off the boxes you have. Be a hero, save the planet! We’re in it together. It’s a lot more successful than pointing the finger at everyone else.
One of our favorite solutions is to simply hold onto the boxes. Find some available space in a closet somewhere and let them build up. At some point, you may need to send something to someone in the mail. Now, you already have a box to send it in. Or, you can randomly grab a box of any desired shape from your collection, for the purpose of sorting and organization. Build a rack in your garage and fill it with a bunch of boxes of the same size. Mark each box for what goes inside and now you have a bunch of free storage bins.
Finally, when the end of the year approaches, nothing makes for better boxes to wrap Christmas presents in, than that pile of empty boxes just waiting for a new home. So you aren’t getting waste with every order. Instead, you are getting a simple bonus gift thrown in every time.
They also make for great materials to be used in projects for kids, both at home and at school. Or maybe projects for you, around the house or at work. I remember we once wrapped an empty Amazon box with black fabric (secured with gaff tape), and placed a monitor on top of it so that it sat perfectly side by side with the monitor next to it. Given, this was a temporary solution before we brought an arm mount into the mix, but it worked quite well for the time being. It started off as a joke, but it would up holding that monitor for close to a month. It could have easily remained in its use, but we opted for the desk space (hence the arm) and consistency to the other desks/stations throughout the office.
Given, in certain situations, Amazon really does overdo things a little. On average, two to three times the space inside of a box for safe packaging is nice. However, when it is ten times space or more, the item is nearly impossible to damage, or the extra space isn’t properly being made use of (lack of protective packaging); then you absolutely have a worthy debate. In this case, it comes back to compromise. Amazon might need to look a little further into their packaging process to help eliminate unnecessary space. So again, it goes both ways. As long as we can find a happy middle, we can reduce a little waste, while protecting everything we order, and walk away with a little bonus every time.