This article in today’s Globe and Mail discusses the amount of waste that can be generated in the form of excesses packaging by online vendors. I’ve experienced this myself. I avoid online shopping as much as possible, as I prefer to do business with local businesses, but sometimes, I simply can’t find certain products locally. Some online vendors with whom I do business try their best to minimize waste, and to ensure that they use only recyclable materials (of course, recycling uses fossil fuels, but it’s better than the waste heap). On the other hand, I’ve received some parcels that were far too large for the items contained. Further, these items, which were not fragile, were bubble wrapped. I wish there were a way to indicate shipping material preferences when shopping online, including a waiver that the recipient assumes responsibility if something is damaged (like a hardcover book) if it’s not bubble wrapped. To add to this, of course, is the carbon footprint caused by the trucks and planes needed to ship the items.