One way to reduce the amount of packaging is to simply ask for minimal packaging. I recently blogged about this topic as did Closet Environmentalist. But is there another way to reduce the use of styrofoam packaging?
Yesterday, I celebrated Christmas with my department chair and her family. After brunch and exchanging gifts, my chair showed me one of her latest knitting projects. (In case you didn't know, I like to knit!) I was blown away by her newly discovered project - not only is it NOT a scarf (which is the only thing I currently know how to knit!), but it replaces the use of packaging peanuts altogether!
See the cute dolls in the boy's pouch? They're called 'comfort dolls.' These so-called comfort dolls are used by ICROSS Canada, which is an organization that assists poor children and their families in Africa. These dolls serve two purposes: First, they're used for packaging medical supplies (so no styrofoam peanuts used!), and second, they're gifts for the little kids. What a brilliant and creative idea!
Ok, so maybe it's unreasonable for me to ask amazon.com to package my goodies using comfort dolls, but that's because we're not thinking creatively about our packaging needs and desires! I love this project because it's jammed-packed with meaning and simple innovation. Be creative, make a doll, reduce plastic packaging, comfort a child, provide medical support to the needy. What more could you ask for?!