Here's a creative way to save waste: make the packaging an essential part of the product. The Packaging Lamp by David Gardener, for example, turns into the lamp when opened. The packaging hides the bulb, wires, and plug, but when you flip the two pieces around they form a cardboard lamp.
I'm not sure how many pieces of furniture you'd want made out of pulp cardboard, but this is a really clever way to ensure that there's no waste whatsoever with your product. Perhaps if the packaging itself was made of a higher quality material this would have more staying power? It's an interesting idea, to say the least.