Packaging is important. Sometimes it makes the product look more appealing and highlights its best qualities. But packaging has an enormous downside too. It’s usually plastic (BOOOOO!) and it usually just ends up getting thrown away (BOOOOO!). It’s even worse when you consider that packaging is often, excessive and sometimes unnecessary (BOOOOOO!)

As consumers, we can address this problem by paying attention to packaging, and buying only the products that are packaged in the least wasteful, most sustainable way. It’s not hard to do once we become aware of problem and realize that our shopping dollars are our voice.

Let’s Take A Look At Some Common Items And Their Packaging



Single use plastic case- BOOOOO!


Recyclable cardboard carton!



Single Use Plastic strikes again- BOOOOO!


Bar soap in a paper wrapper! Some major brands make bars too.



Plastic container of pudding in a plastic tray in a box, all of which get thrown out. BOOOOO!


A homemade sandwich in a reusable container. Plastic Tupperware type containers are fine as they last along a time, but extra points for this one because it’s plastic-free.

It’s not that I’m absolutely against plastic- I’m not. Plastic has many good uses and can do some pretty amazing things. But it also is a key pollutant to our oceans, is dirty and energy consuming to produce, and is really easy to avoid in many cases if we just make an effort. Single use plastic should be banned in the US, as I believe it is in some other countries.

This post wasn’t supposed to be a plastic bashing party, it’s really about packaging. The two do go hand-in-hand often though. But, no matter what you’re buying, I encourage you to consider purchasing the product with the most environmentally responsible packaging (the less packaging, the better). Even if you have to pay a bit more for it, it’s worth it for the planet and is a good reward to the companies who packaged responsibly

For more RebEarth articles and a variety of other stories, visit Five O’Clock Shadow, a magazine style blog by Todd Fulginiti.  Todd is also a staff writer at Wise & Shine Magazine.  For Todd’s musical activities visit