The Amazon Tote

Amazon has done a small thing to reduce its packaging footprint with the testing of the new Amazon Tote.

I have always wondered about the environmental issues surrounding all of the stuff we order on line. It certainly is convenient, but doesn’t it feel as if you are using more energy when everything is delivered right to your door?

Intuitively it has always felt like we were using a lot more distribution center electricity, FedEx jet fuel and diesel truck fuel, and creating much more packaging waste for each of my orders from Amazon, than it might if I simply went to the local book store. And certainly a lot more than using a Kindle, iPad, or your local library.

In addition to the tote itself, Amazon is shifting the distribution method to something more like the bag used for your home delivery of dry cleaning. The tote is filled and delivered to your door once a week. You can then put it back on your doorstep for pickup, or keep it for reuse at home.

It will be interesting to see if this test is expanded outside its Seattle test area.

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About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
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One Response to The Amazon Tote

  1. Aaron says:

    I commend Amazon for their effort. As for being green, I think we really overestimate the ‘greenness’ of our electronic devices, including readers and cars. The energy may not be where we are but it is created somewhere and electricity has a bad track record so far. Also, where are these things recycled at? Paper is efficiently and greenly recycled. Electronics are recycled in horrible conditions in the third world if done at all. Batteries are also a ticking time bomb for the environment. If we are going to compare, it should be on equal footing.

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