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Amazon’s Frustration-free Packaging: Good Idea in Theory or Practice?

By Fredrica Syren

We do order a few things such as larger cases or Seventh Generation products (bathroom tissue, cleaning supplies) and baby formula from Amazon.  But the amount of packaging that comes with each item — and the fact they sometimes send our formula one can at the time — frustrates us.  Shopping at Amazon saves us money but does not save the planet, so we have reconsidered our purchasing there.

We’re so delighted to find they have an option to have your things sent in what they call “frustration free” packaging.  According to Amazon.com’s website, this means it is recyclable and comes without excess packaging materials such as hard plastic clamshell casings, plastic bindings, and wire ties.  It’s designed to be opened without the use of a box cutter or knife and will protect your product just as well as traditional packaging (on the right). Products with frustration-free packaging frequently can be shipped in their own boxes, without an additional shipping box.

To me, this sounded great and just what we had been looking for.  Imagine my disappointment when I read an article published on Tree Huggers which described how a tiny SD memory card for a camera that was ordered with frustration free packaging, was delivered in an envelope wrapped in plastic and then packed in a larger box.  Why Amazon shipped such a small item inside this huge amount of packaging is very disappointing for sure;  however, the article I read was from 2009, so I hoped that maybe Amazon has changed the frustration-free packaging to make it better.  To check it out we just ordered two small glasses frustration-free.   I can report we did not notice any difference — it still came with lots of garbage and it sure was not frustration free opening the package either. Not good Amazon!!!!

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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