Indeed, as far as eco-friendly packaging ideas go, this is definitely one of the better ones we’ve seen in the last year. While some manufacturers have been getting better about reducing the overall amount of cardboard, plastic and Styrofoam used to package and secure our gadgets, there's still plenty of room for improvement.
As such, HP proposed doing away with the hefty boxes altogether, and instead selling laptops in their own messenger bag. That idea resonated with judge’s during Wal-Mart's Home Entertainment Design Challenge. So much so that now you can now walk into any Wal-Mart or Sam's Club and pick up a Pavillion dv692 laptop in its very own beige messenger bag. No cardboard. No molded plastics. Even the bags are made out of recycled materials.
While the laptop and its components are still wrapped with air bubbles, HP says the system yields a 97 percent reduction in overall packaging. Not only that, but the computer maker can cram three of these messenger bags in one shipping box, which means even more overall packaging reductions on the shipping side of things.
As one Gizmodo commenter aptly noted, gadget "unboxing" may soon become "unbagging."
Bryan has covered the ins and outs Silicon Valley and the tech industry for close to five years, writing about everything from supercomputers to greentech. He is a frequent contributor to Wired.com and has also written for the LA Weekly, PC Magazine and McSweeney’s. He also pens a regular gadget column for NorthWest Airlines.