The importance of cardboard to our culture is, on a par with space travel and the technology that allows us to speak and see someone in Tonga on our smart phone.
All we need to do is find someone in Tonga willing to speak to us.
Raw cardboard fresh from the factory is, by itself benign, but configured into box form it houses those niceties of our civilization such as flat screen TV’s, auto parts and candy.
Cardboard, neither card, nor board, but somewhere in between is ubiquitous and while utile, can also mislead. Let me explain. The packaging of an item on the shelf of a gourmet food emporium; for example a package of individual almond rocha, is more likely to be sold if we fall for the packaging.
Let’s say a given package which is 10 inches long by 2 inches wide by 1 inch deep looks like it could contain as many as 10 or 15 almond rochas with a number of them pictured on the package, in actuality only contains 2. Why? The package is the selling point. Remember those little disclaimers that say, ‘Some settling of contents may occur?” That’s a ruse! It’s like big government; you expect a fair shake, but don’t get a lot. It’s almost as if the packaging is more important than the product.
In a business course somewhere in a college close to a large city that caters to self-motivated marketing mayvens, an un-tenured assistant professor wearing a sleeveless vest, white shirt and bow tie is regaling the students on the value of packaging. That speaks for itself.
The question I’m raising here is what do we do with the box when the computer’s been delivered? Save it. If there’s a problem and we need to send it back, you need the original box. Save the box; but we do that. We’re ‘savers’ and taken to the next level, American’s are ‘stuff junkies’ which you can see from the great amount of ‘store your stuff’ facilities.
What do we see in the chain link cages which make up these compendiums of crap? Cardboard boxes! Still not broken down flat so as to save space, most are still in their original configuration because we haven’t figured out the tab ‘A’ into slot ’B’ thing yet,
which means we’re storing air, not density. We’ve probably saved more cardboard than the law allows, and, it seems, we’ve created a whole industry dedicated to it. We can recycle it into coffee cup sleeves or bus benches or we can continue to store it in case civilization breaks down and we have to send the product back. Then we’ll go to Tonga, where cardboard is as rare as an individual almond rocha.