What ever happened to the environmental movement? I know we’re all about reducing the carbon footprint by shopping local and all, but let’s admit it, Pottery Barn has a lot of cool products. A peek inside my home is like an informal catalog showroom for the king of semi-affordable furniture. This specific rant is about excess packaging. Fast food restaurants got the message last century. Take a look at all the stuff that came with my new Pottery Barn lamp. The box is big enough for an economy coffin. The lamp was artfully encased in styrofoam and sealed EMPTY boxes!

After doing my web research I walked into a local Pottery Barn and requested the lamp of my dreams. After thirty minutes of mysterious back room shuffling a box was produced that could house a family of three. And it was heavy. What was I supposed to do with all this stuff? Couldn’t the store just give me the lamp. Nooooo. If I want to return this puppy I would have to find some place to store the giant cardboard box. Not likely.

Since this lamp is a modern knock-off of an old timer design, the company could have taken any liberties it wanted. Granted, the assembly was non-existent, a guilty pleasure in this D.I.Y. Ikea world.

Special props to Urban Outfitters for their product design. Equally old timey in looks, this slightly bigger lamp was shipped in a box one third it’s size. This packaging Houdini act was made possible by a three part post that easily screwed in to each other and then the base. Someone at Urban Outfitters deserves a raise.

As if we all needed more things to worry about, the land fill crisis should not be ignored. This recent retail trauma of mine has been quite useful as I now think about how much space my stuff is taking up and how much stuff I really need. I still love to shop, just think I’m finally ready to shop wisely.