We live in a world that is on-line based, fast-paced and convenience-centered. As a society we want things quickly and easily accessible. The problem of course, is that all this convenience and immediacy has come with a price. Unfortunately, this price is not easily recognized by the consumer of these products because we just throw things away and don’t think or worry about how or where this waste is piling up. That is until recently, when more and more stories and images of plastic and other garbage floating in big masses in the ocean, marine life suffocating in plastic particles and countries looking for places to dispose of their garbage and recycling. It feels in many ways like we are starting to drown in all of this convenience packaging and non-biodegradable products.

With that in mind, I think every company that sells a product that is packaged, which is probably most companies, needs to consider environmentally friendly packaging. The need for this kind of packaging may not be apparent to everyone yet but we can’t afford to wait for everyone to agree or it may just be too late to act. Environmentally friendly packaging seems like a really good and easy place to start because we can all still enjoy the convenience that packaging provides but in a way that is more friendly and earth conscience. This is a small step that companies can take toward environmental conservation that their customers may not even notice the difference. Yes, it may cost more in the short term but over the long run we all we have to pay the price if we can’t figure out how to make the kind of changes that will reduce our carbon footprint and extend our ability to live the life we all have gotten used to.

Another consideration for companies who are considering whether to switch to more environmentally friendly packaging is that more and more consumers may begin to demand this from companies and if they don’t comply, they will start to lose customers. I know for example, that my mom is always looking for products that are packaged without plastic. She will purchase those products even if they are a little more expensive because she believes that it’s an easy way to do her part in helping reduce waste.

In the world we live in today, it’s important for all of us who can affect change and encourage environmentally friendly practices to take these steps. Companies who choose environmentally friendly packaging now are forging the path and setting the example for others to follow and shedding light on a better way to preserve and protect products while preserving and protecting the earth and all its inhabitants.

Essay by: Ross Edward Foothorap
St. Joseph Regional High School