Friday, March 6th, 2009

Moving with Plastics: A Green Solution

rentagreenboxHave you moved to a new home or office lately? What did you do with the collection of cardboard boxes and other packing materials that were used during the move? If you’re like most people, you put them in the trash. Sometimes they get reused, but typically not more than once – and then on to the landfill.

Well, there is a company in Costa Mesa, California called Rent-A-Green Box that shows that it doesn’t have to be that way. Spencer Brown, founder and brain child behind the company, has re-invented the moving box — creating them from 100% recycled plastic trash, mined from local landfills. His invention is called The Recopack, which stands for “Recycled Ecological Packing Solution.” (You can watch several videos featuring Spencer and The Recopack.) The company delivers the plastic bins to you, then you pack them and move to your new location. Later, the company comes to your new location and picks the bins back up. The cost is based on a per bin/per day fee.

The company has introduced a whole line of moving storage products made from materials found in landfills and recycling centers, including HDPE (high density polyethylene; resin identification code #2) plastic bottles, plastic bottle caps, used baby diapers, cardboard sludge, newsprint sludge, cardboard food boxes and aluminum cans. So far, it looks like Rent-A-Green Box is serving a good deal of Southern California, but are actively seeking partners to expand their reach.

This is the kind of innovative thinking that we all need to focus on moving forward. Here is a company that has found a seemingly profitable way to not only re-use existing waste, but to eliminate additional waste generation.

3 Responses to “Moving with Plastics: A Green Solution”

  1. This is a great idea, but I have to be honest, I can see it being a real issue for most people. Firstly, they are only available in Southern California. Second, the price of rental is a little steep, and forces you to unpack everything almost immediately. I don’t know about you, but I like to start packing up to two months early, then unpack at my own pace and find just the right spot for everything.

    For those of us who either don’t live in that area or would rather just save some money and be environmentally friendly in another way, there is UsedCardboardBoxes.com. I got wind of them through a blog, Jen Mecca’s Pottery Blog. I used them for my recent move and was very pleasantly surprised. They saved me a small fortune on my moving supplies, not to mention the time I would’ve otherwise spent trying to get the cheapest boxes possible, along with all the other supplies that came in their kit. And the kicker? UPS Delivery was included for free!

    Rent-A-Green Box sounds like it could be a great idea, though it does come with a few caveats. Personally, even if I were in Southern California, I think UsedCardboardBoxes.com is the better fit for me. Check them out, you may be pleasantly surprised as well!

  2. Hi!

    Thanks for taking the time to cover my company!

    We’re here to help you green your next move.

    We also have the largest free green moving tips on the internet!

    Sincerely Green,

    Spencer Brown

  3. Hi Bob, thanks for your comment. I agree that there are several ways to reduce the waste generated in a typical move. I found this one particularly interesting since they are reclaiming waste from landfills. It does have it’s limitations, but sounds like a good fit for smaller, short distance moves.

    In addition to usecardboardboxes.com, you may want to check out a U-Haul sponsored customer to customer board at:

    http://www.uhaul.com/boards/default.aspx?ForumGroupID=4.

    It appears people can post either looking for boxes or with used boxes to sell. Some even offer them for free if you are willing to pick them up! I have no experience with this board but it sure seems interesting.

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