Monday, September 8, 2008

Overpackaging

I have been thinking about this over the past week. Last weekend we were visiting my sister-in-law and her family. Like me, she is a SAHM, and has a lot of the same philosophies on money- and earth-saving, and getting back to the heart of health, community, and living. Anyway, as we swapped tips and ideas on living and parenting "green," one thing she pointed out, that I had never given much thought, was how many things are "overpackaged." Over the past week I have been atune to noticing the amount of packaging used for various things, and she is so right - overpackaging is EVERYWHERE! Here are some of the brands I have noticed:

  • Lansinoh nursing pads -- Each and every single disposable pad is individually wrapped, inside the bigger box! What the heck?! I have noticed that many other brands I have used before just come loose in a box, and that suits me fine. What is the point of wrapping each individually? They claim its to keep them "pure," or something like that, but I just see it as unnecessary excess packaging.
  • Granola bars -- Every brand I know of. Now I know they would stick together if there wasn't some sort of inner packaging, but couldn't they do what they do with cookies, and put them in the one plastic thingy that separates them, rather than all the little wrappers?
  • String cheese -- Sure, individually wrapping them seems to make sense for on-the-go, but I happen to know that the more "upscale" versions you get in the gourmet cheese cooler aren't packaged individually, and they are just fine. I mean, how tough is it to just grab a cheese stick out of the bag? Shoot, my kids can't even open the darn wrappers anyway!

There are a bunch of other things too, but I can't think of them all offhand. I guess my main point was just that now that my eyes have been opened to the problem, I am trying to find solutions to reduce the overpackaging waste. Beth has inspired me to make my own granola bars. I will be switching to a different brand of nursing pad. Mostly, I will just be more aware of what I do, and don't, buy. I figure if more people recognized how much overpackaging there is, more people will do something to reduce all the needless waste. That's my hope anyway.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Yes, you know what else gets overpacked??? When you go to the UPS Store and ask them to package something for you, they have to have 2" of packaging material around your item on ALL SIDES so thats a total of 8" of wasted styrofoam around your item not to mention that alot of times, they will box your item, pack it around styrofoam and then box it again!! WTH??! Thats overload, I think. (I only know this because I worked there once for like 1 week and hated it because Im too green-friendly!)