Damn the torpedoes! Full carbon ahead!

Damn the torpedoes! Full carbon ahead!

This is the object that Converse, the shoe company, sent me as a marketing piece recently.

Why, I don’t know; perhaps my involvement with SUGAR, our women’s style and health section, got me on their mailing list. In any case, this is a big old pile o’ wasteful indulgence on the part of Converse, if you ask me. I mean, this is no brochure; this is a book. It’s 98 pages long. It’s a HARDBACK. Do you know how many struggling writers there are in this town who will never publish any book at all, much less a hardback?

But Converse has the dough to put together its very own tome, which in fawning terms displays their latest lines of sneakers. (Example: “We saw their starts, bought their records, memorized their lyrics, immortalized them in our minds and hearts. Now we’re honoring them the best way we know how—on our sneakers.”)

Blech. The writing stinks, but what really seems absurd is the idea of producing something this lavish and sending it out to, apparently, a whole bunch of media worker bees who probably won’t notice (and a small number who will). I have searched this thing in vain for any mention of recycled paper or soy-based inks, though the cover has a vaguely post-consumer look about it. But even if the whole thing were made of reclaimed palm fronds, it would still take energy to produce, package and transport. Plus, I’m not sure that I could recycle it. And to my eyes, that’s a screaming negative for Converse, one that overshadows any cool factor generated by the book’s clean design or the plastering of Kurt Cobain’s journal pages across a tennis shoe.

What excessive packaging has entered your life lately? Any cool solutions for reusing stuff like this?

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