Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from John Maeda

Bigfoot Greetings

Creating and ordering my greeting cards online was easy, but the layers of packaging make me wonder if I’ve damaged the earth in the process.

  • April 21, 2008

With a simple flick of the wrist and click of a button, I ordered my custom-printed cards from Apple. Not very many, really–only 50 total. A few days later, they arrived in two cardboard boxes. I opened one of the boxes, and inside there was another box. I opened that box, and found yet another box. Finally, after opening the last box, I found a bundle of cards. I felt as though I was playing with a Matryoshka doll. The sad part of it, however, was that all the layers of packaging were going to end up in the recycling bin. Did there have to be so many?

On the right is the pile of printed cards and envelopes; on the left is the pile of packaging material. I’m fearful of calculating the carbon footprint of my greeting cards …

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Sustainable Energy

Can we sustainably provide food, water, and energy to a growing population during a climate crisis?

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.