In the past couple of weeks, two seemingly opposite articles about packaging have piqued my interest.

First it was this one from Fast Company: “Will ‘Active Packaging’ Undermine Apple’s Quest for Sustainability?”

Then it was this week’s Marketing: Green column from MediaPost: “When It Comes To Packaging, Less Is More.”

I’m not sure which is most disturbing about these two articles, the fact that we’re still having conversations about the amount of wasted materials in product packaging today, or that Apple, while touting the new MacBooks as the Marketing: Green column points out what has become obvious:

Reduced packaging yields cost savings that go right to the bottom line, the perception of a greener footprint, and a potential lead marketing position in a highly competitive market.

The only thing I can figure is that Apple (a) has conceptualized packaging that even if they don’t ever create would be a good thing to patent in case someone else wants to use it, and (b) has enough money to burn that they don’t really care much about being green (good if it helps boost sales but not necessarily a way of life for them).

For me, when it comes to so many things—especially packaging—less is more. To see where we should be heading, check out this interview with Patagonia and 1% for the Planet founder Yvon Chouinard about how they increased sales of long underwear by reducing the packaging.

(If for some reason the video isn’t working, please visit http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/noah-robischon/editors-desk/patagonias-underwear-designed-exposure

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