To paraphrase Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of loud, critical bloggers can change Dell’s packaging M.O.” OK, that’s a bit of a stretch — and we won’t go so far as to say “Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” But photos published on the internet during Earth Week of a tiny flash drive arriving to a customer in a giant box provoked enough outcry in the blogosphere that Dell is taking immediate steps to reduce packaging waste. The company has sent a directive requesting that envelopes be used for small items, and plans to reduce the size of its boxes in the short term. Says Dell, “Our sincere gratitude goes out to everyone who pointed this irregularity out to us.” Which is an awfully polite response, considering Gizmodo‘s not-so-polite (but kind of awesome) headline about the overpackaging: “Dell’s wasteful shipping habits take a steamy dump on the environment.”

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