E-Commerce and Cardboard

An alternative title for this post could be “Instant Gratification.”  So what does all this have to do with technology?  Well it’s all about shopping online, and receiving lots of purchases at your front door courtesy of UPS, FedEx etc.  Therefore, you will have lots of cardboard boxes and assorted packaging materials to dispose of after opening your conveniently delivered purchases.  And waiting times seem to be shortening as a simple click on the desired item on your computer screen or smartphone will result in almost instant delivery (gratification!)

Remember the days of conspicuous consumption?  Now it seems that the most conspicuous aspect of our online consumption is the amount of cardboard that is accumulating in people’s trash.  How about 100 tons a day in San Francisco alone where this E-Commerce boom was generated by the rise of technology entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, creating a business model that was soon replicated around the world.  This is the “cyber retail business” world we now live in, and it looks like there is no turning back.

Ironically, some leaders in the cardboard recycling business are having a hard time keeping up and offer this advice: “Slow down consumption, slow down.”

Ray Myers


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