Frustration Free Packaging!

(Photo stolen from Amazon's website)

3 years ago, I posted a rant about my frustration with toy packaging. I'm happy to report that Amazon is trying to help us and the environment with their new "frustration free packaging". They are working with certain toy manufacturers to have the toys packaged as simply as possible inside a plain cardboard box that is sturdy enough for the toy to be shipped in. If you want Amazon to gift wrap it, they will. The receiver will only have to tear a tape seal, open the plain box, and maybe open a couple of baggies of small parts inside and be ready to play with the toy. No more plastic that you can't cut through or endless twist ties. You get to the goods much faster and, best of all, the minimal and mostly cardboard packaging is much more environmentally friendly.

Now, the CO2 emissions from shipping the toy across the country, the resources used to manufacture the toy in the first place, and the materials some of the toys are made of that ultimately need to be disposed of when the toy's life cycle is over are still not environmentally friendly. But it's a small step in the right direction. And because Amazon is leading the way, with their gigantic volume they have some weight to throw around in terms of pressuring toy manufacturers to get on board with this. My overly ambitious hope is that we'll see these plain boxes show up next at our local toy retailers...

So, if you must buy new toys for the holidays this year, please consider looking on Amazon for the ones with frustration free packaging. And if you want to do better than that, buy, swap, or hand-me down used toys which have no packaging at all, don't need to be shipped across the country, probably have a lot of life left in them, and the kids will enjoy them just as much!