Friday, December 28, 2012

Boxes Boxes Everywhere

To my son Tommy,

As I came home from work, I was greeted on my doorstep by boxes and bags filled with recyclables.  It is a sure sign that you were extremely spoiled this year during the holidays.  It is also a sure sign that we as a society haven't grown passed our necessity for packaging.

I always wonder if a toy store would do well if everything was out of the box.  What is this obsession with packaging with all our goods?  I am sure the sales "scientists" have determined that items sell better when they are in a blue box 20 inches cubed with stars on the top right that smell like oranges.  I am also sure the people who supply boxes for just such a purpose are great people and need jobs too.  I just need to question if it is necessary.  Tree pulp wasted making cardboard, gas wasted with the extra weight to freight, time wasted taking the item out of the box, and on top of that the garbage people have to pick them up and hopefully get them to a recycling center so we can lessen the tree pulp wasting the next time.  It doesn't make  much sense to me.  Not to mention I think there is a special place in hell saved for the creators of toy packaging especially since this year they decided to make it so you needed a phillipshead screwdriver to get many of these toys out of the box.  Last year they seemed to be heading in the right direction of making it easier to get the toy out of the package and 2012 seems like an about-face on the topic.  Not that I am bitter  or anything.

This is what you have to do in your life to make a difference.  You can't just accept the status quo but you have to look at everything with a critical eye and say "Why do we do it that way? Wouldn't it make more sense to do it this way?"  This is how innovation, change, and a new normal come about.  You question and suggest change.  You research and find out that toy packaging makes it more likely the toy will survive the long haul trip through rough seas from China to some longshoreman (assuming they are not striking) in Jersey.  I just hope you find yourself in a position to actually effect change.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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