I hate moving on so many levels. It equals upheaval in every sense of the word, usually happens on the hottest day of the summer (in my move-once-a-year undergrad days anyway), and, worst of all- it means boxes. Finding boxes, saving boxes, packing boxes, unpacking boxes, and then wondering how you'll fit all those boxes into the recycling bin. Spencer Brown felt the same way, but unlike me (who tried to solve the problem by never actually unpacking), he upgraded.
Frustrated by the waste created by moving boxes, and horrified by the inconvenience (and sometimes impossibility) of recycling them, Brown launched Rent A Green Box, a "comprehensive, zero-waste pack and move solution made entirely from post consumer recycled trash mined from local landfills."
The initial result? Meet the Recopack.
Made from recycled blue, yellow, white and clear plastic bottles, Brown began by charging people $1 per box, per week to rent Recopacks for their move, and has since expanded the company's offerings to seven unique products that have been used in over 45,000 moves!
My favorite Rent A Green Box product is by far Recocubes, the planet-friendly answer to packing peanuts.
"Recocubes are made from recycled newsprint sludge and fortified with plant vitamins and minerals. After unpacking, just toss them into your garden as compost and they’ll feed your trees."
In the March 2009 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, Brown stated that for every 100 boxes he rents, he extracts more than 500 pounds of trash from a landfill to create them, prevents more than 350 pounds of cardboard and packing materials from entering the landfill, and saves more than 350 gallons of water that would have been used to create the cardboard.
The only downside? Currently the company only delivers their boxes (in vehicles that run on biofuels and veggie oil) to lucky customers in Orange County, Los Angeles County and select areas of the Inland Empire and San Diego County. Cali gets all the fun. But the company has plans to go national in the next 3 years, and those interested in becoming operating partners are encouraged to inquire.