Snow Leopard Packaging Fails Green Test

snow-leopard-package

Like millions of other Mac owners I dutifully plonked down $29 for the new Snow Leopard operating system last week. It’s a nice improvement and well worth the price. But, why in the modern world I am required to send for a physical DVD to make my installation possible has left me somewhat dumbfounded. To make matters even more hilarious, Apple sent me a cardboard box 15.6 times the size of the DVD case contained within (I did the math).

With all of Apple’s green claims, this just doesn’t compute.

They could have popped the DVD into a NetFlix style envelope, saved massively on shipping and handling and made me feel less like a wasteful chump. For that matter, the whole thing should have been downloadable.

Why, dear Apple, why?

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

19 responses

  1. Thank you for making this point. I often receive goods from “green” companies with Styrofoam peanuts. Rather than call and complain, I’m going to post a photo on the web… pictures speak 1,000 words!

    1. I had this same thing happen when I ordered corn-based plastic utensils and sugarcane paper plates! I was so upset I sent the whole order back with a great big note about the peanuts. Received a refund and not one comment from the company…pathetic.

  2. My Snow Leopard didn’t come in any extra packaging because I bought it at the local Mac store instead of ordering it online. Best option IMO. On the whole physical DVD part of it, I imagine Apple will be headed more that direction. iWorks is available by online download already and I’m sure they will be offering the same option for more software in the future.

  3. If you were really worried about the packaging, then maybe you should have talked to a few friends of yours and got the family pack that can be transfered onto more machines. Instead you took the easy way (apple is going the easy way too) and bought it for yourself. If people want to help the environment they have to work together and get out of this individualistic consumerist mentality that got us into this mess in the first place.

  4. I have to admit it didn’t occur to me to go down to the store and buy it. Next time I’ll think about that. Many people are reporting that they got the DVD in a smaller envelope. I’m not sure why I got the giant box. Anyway, I still think my point is pretty valid. A company claiming to go green, who’s making an upgrade that is this well publicized, topped off with a very keen design conscience, should have thought of a simpler, cheaper, less impactful mailing system that could have been standardized across the board.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a fan of apple, but I was surprised at this. I know they can do better.

  5. Mmm, for what it’s worth, every upgrade that I have seen shipped here in the UK was in a small, plain padded envelope. I haven’t seen a single HP/Sony overpacking frenzy of this kitty…

  6. I doubt that this has anything to do with apple, and all to do with the company you ordered it from.. I ordered mine from the apple store and it came in a small envelope, just the disc and usermanual, no box what so ever. But suppose Apple should inform their retailers how they want their products to be shipped..

  7. yeah you totally don’t want that physical cd if you lived somewhere you couldn’t get good internet service, or any internet service. or -god forbid- your mac actually caught one of those virus things and you had to reinstall the OS, or does apple even let you do that? they probably just make you buy a new comp.

    1. “yeah you totally don’t want that physical cd if you lived somewhere you couldn’t get good internet service, or any internet service. or -god forbid- your mac actually caught one of those virus things and you had to reinstall the OS, or does apple even let you do that? they probably just make you buy a new comp.”

      You can reinstall Mac OS X. I have done it a few times, when my hard drive crashed.

      That is also the problem with downloading to operating system online. If there is a problem and you need to reinstall Mac OS X, or repair a problem using Disk Utility your certainly better off with an install disk, as that doubles as the restore disk.

      You can’t use disk utility to repair a main hard disk on a Mac, just the disk permissions. You need your install disk, or possibly a thrid party boot disk, such as a techtool install disk to repair the hard disk using Disk Utility.

  8. I get my new software “over the net” and for free! I use Ubuntu! No Polluting environmental damage at all, and less power to the destructive capitalist. corporatist bastards that sold America out to China! If this is socialism and so is Health care, we need more of it, not less!

  9. Mine also came in a small envelope that contained a cardboard sleeve and a CD. Where did you order your software?

  10. That’s odd. When I ordered mine, it came in an envelope in a cardboard sleeve.

    I doubt you bought from their website.

  11. The real question is why, almost one year later, I cannot download this software. The most green solution would not require any packaging or shipping. It is only software.

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