Just a couple of days, I received my new iPhone shipped from Apple. What I was impressed with was not the phone – the phone was good by all means but it was the clever packaging that I was impressed with.

You see, in order to create proper cushion for the items shipped in a box, senders usually put in air bubbles. In the old days, people and businesses used other materials – plastic peanuts, anyone remembers those?

But plastics are not environmental-friendly. In fact, plastics are one of the few material that could remain for hundreds or even thousands of years after you and me are long gone. Do you know that a disposable diaper will take 450 years to decompose?

So Apple did something very clever. It uses just one piece of clear and sturdy rectangular plastic tape whose two narrow sides are glued on the two end of a long rectangular paper board. The tape is long and loose enough to hold an iphone underneath. When you bend the two ends of the paper board inward, something magical happens. The plastic tape stretches, and the tension of the tape keeps the iphone box secure like a rock!

Moreover, this piece of paper board is an integral part of a paper box. So, someone can just fold the box up and ship it. No other packaging material is needed. Clean as a whistle.

Someone can still criticize Apple for using plastics. But in my view, if we cannot completely eliminate something harmful, let us start by using less of it, instead of waiting for a 100% clean solution and doing nothing during the wait.

To build a bonfire, you have to start with a kindling. To start a movement, you need to get moving. To reverse global warming and save our planet, let’s start by reducing (and of course, whenever possible, eliminating) our usage of pollutants.