Product packaging accounts for 50% of municipal waste. But, as the book Cradle to Cradle points out, we can be smarter about packaging.
Why not create packaging with a second life once it's served the purpose of packaging a product? As a precedent, he shares that Ford packaged their Model T's in wooden crates that then became the floorboards of the automobile after shipping.
Another reuse of packaging that we've probably all witnessed in the home is the reuse of jam jars as a drinking glass. Many jam jars are charming little designs that we don't want to dispose of. We like their appearance and end up reusing them as glasses, spice jars, etc. A quick search on Flickr finds lots of people drinking from jam jars.
This doesn't mean we have to resort to decorating our homes with junk or "garbage". But wouldn't it be nice if product packaging could be pushed beyond our wildest imaginations to actually become useful, stylish contributions instead of 50% of our municipal waste?