But there is one area of waste that I didn't even think about being an issue until it took over our living room - packaging from gifts that have been shipped to us.
Pardon Cody's glowing eyes in the background - I tried to fix them and they ended up even scarier looking!
Seriously, the amount of boxes, paper, bubblewrap and packing peanuts that have ended up in our living room is mind boggling. We have purged our living room of boxes and packing supplies at least three times when the overflowing mountain of cardboard became too much for me to handle. And it's not like we've received a ton of gifts - our family and friends have been very generous, yes, but it's just the sheer amount of packaging that each individual gift comes wrapped in that causes the build up of materials.
I don't know the answer to this problem. I understand that from a company's perspective it's likely cheaper to throw in a bit more packing material to ensure that items don't break in transit then to have to deal with returns. But when an order of four small ramekins comes wrapped in enough bubblewrap and packing peanuts to fill a box large enough that I thought a stand mixer was inside? (I only knew it wasn't because it wasn't heavy enough.) I'm pretty sure that's overkill.
Please don't mistake this as me being ungrateful in any sense - as I said above, our friends and family have been incredibly generous and we are very aware of that. It just makes me sad when it takes us three trips out to the recycling bin because of all of the cardboard and paper that's taken over our apartment (and we don't have room to save most of it for future moves, plus we already have all of our old cardboard boxes for moving, so we don't really need any more). Yes, we're certainly recycling it, but generally we prefer to reduce and reuse as much as possible instead of sending things out to be recycled.
On the plus side, Cody had a whole lot of fun with the bubblewrap!
Have any of you dealt with this issue? Have you come up with better solutions? Is there a way to ask retailers not to use quite so much packaging?