Number of air-cushion thingies to ship a wall calendar?

Sixty-one, according to Office Max. That’s 40.5 linear feet of AirSpeed “inflatable void fill packaging.” #sustainability #greenwash

I opened the oversized box and long stretches of plastic-cushion chains popped out, like some giant snakes-in-a-peanut-brittle-can gag.

Each cushion bears the words “Please Recycle” in large letters. The manufacturer, Pregis, prides itself on its environmentalism, using reclaimed materials and offering biodegradable packaging. And if you hunt around on their website, you can find a link to earth911.org to find a recycle/reuse center near you. That’s dandy, but there seems to be a disconnect between these efforts and the countless warehouse-shipping hubs, where all some lackey has to do is press a button for a machine to spit out 75 feet of inflated plastic film a minute.

I’m all for saving time and the planet, not to mention making the sustainable wheels of commerce turn, but the packaging glut (see ubiquitous packing peanuts) exacerbates my already exaggerated sense of green guilt.

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