Amazon.com is launching a multi-year program this holiday season as part of their effort to go Green, offering a select few popular products in recyclable cardboard packaging. They call it "Frustration-Free Packaging." That's right - no hermetically sealed plastic clamshells, cut-inducing sharp plastic edges, or annoying metal twist-ties.
Sure, the packaged toy (or mouse, or memory card) may not look pretty on the shelf or under the wrapping, but opting for the cardboard will save you from what Amazon refers to as "wrap rage" and the late-night, pre-holiday panic that sets in when you realize you don't have a pair of bolt cutters sitting around.
More importantly, the cardboard boxes are fully recyclable, reducing the use of excess plastics and other non-biodegradable materials.
It's a small step; right now the program is only offered for 19 popular products. And it's pretty funny that Amazon's revolutionary new packaging is just a rediscovery of what companies used before the ubiquitous plastic came into use. But I still applaud Amazon for taking this step, and hope other companies will follow Amazon's example.
If being environmentally responsible has always been your priority, but you haven't quite extended your environment-friendly nature to the Christmas tree yet, the Cardboard Christmas Tree from Cloud Gate Design can be a splendid alternative this Christmas.
Not only is the Cardboard Tree (plus packaging) made from 100% recycled corrugated cardboard, but a portion of the profits from the tree sales will be donated to the Trees for America Program for replanting trees in destroyed forests. Which means, you save a tree and (indirectly) have several replanted.
Additional benefits? Show your unique ensemble to your dear ones and bask in their admiration for leading the way to a greener world. The Cardboard Christmas tree sells for an economical $22.95. Each tree measures 3-by-3 feet and can be custom decorated with the available ornaments on the website.
More Google. Gmail, this time.
Rob Pegoraro, the Washington Post's really fine columnist on personal digital technology, tells you all about the new Google Labs todo list, formally known as Tasks, that can be added to your Gmail account.
And here's a bit more about it, this from the Gmail blog.