Moving boxes go green and brown

When Miriam and I moved in 2006, we used over 100 cardboard boxes and some ungodly quantity of packing materials and duck tape (You know – it’s for ducks). In fact, combined with the fuel emissions produced by the truck hauling our belongings cross-country and the jet flight to San Diego, moving may have been the most environmentally harmful thing I’ve ever done.

Well, they can’t reduce the carbon emissions from jet fuel (yet), but the fellows at Earth Friendly Moving can at least save us the boxes problem. They make plastic moving boxes out materials they take out of the landfill, and they rent them out to customers for a buck a week a box, plus delivery fee. They also make a packing material composed mostly out of recycled paper pulp, and they drop off and pick up the boxes in their bio-diesel trucks. They even stack the boxes for delivery on a pallet made of recycled used diapers (They call it the Poopy Pallet. Yay Poop Power!). The founders, Spencer Brown and Brian Anton, claim that for ever 100 boxes they make, 256 pounds of landfill is removed, and it saves three trees.

The price is pretty reasonable, too. The cheapest deal I found with a quick Froogle search lead me to a supplier charging $1.58 per large box. On our last move we used over 100 boxes, but let’s call it 100 for the roundness of the number (nice, round zeros, like donuts, ahhhh…). So, at the high end delivery fee, we’re paying $2 a box, but we can feel good about ourselves. At the low end we’re paying $1.20 a box, so we get to feel good about ourselves AND save money. As good old Hannibal Smith said, I love it when a plan comes together.

(Thanks for the tip, Anna!)


4 Responses to Moving boxes go green and brown

  1. Amanda H. says:

    When we moved, Pilou and I bought no boxes: we asked our local liquor store (nice-sized, super-durable), and went dumpster diving in the “cardboard only” dumpsters at RiteAid and other grocery/box stores. We got lots of great quality boxes, for free! and then freecycled them. Cheap, easy, environmentally happy.

    But its cool to see companies getting the idea, too.

  2. Eric Wolff says:

    I tried our local liquor store, but their boxes were beaten up and ragged. We also freecycled our boxes, which was cool.

  3. frog says:

    When we moved into The House, we got a tip from a friend who works at B&N that they get dozens of book-sized boxes a day, which they then recycle. So I spent a week heading down to our friendly valley chain bookstore of doom, walking up to their customer service desk, and asking if I could have the day’s leftover boxes. They were the perfect size — big enough to hold a reasonable amount of stuff but not so big that filling them with books would break your back.

    Our friendly eco-neighbor to the north, Green as a Thistle, has the following to say about eco-moving:

    As for my re-used bookstore boxes, I fully intended to sheet mulch them into new garden beds (, but as I moved during the height of moving season, there were plenty of friends around who needed boxes when I was done with them. So I passed them along. I very much suspect that those boxes are sheet mulching someone else’s garden this winter…

  4. Hi!

    Thanks for the props about earth friendly moving ( our new name is http://www.rentagreenbox,com) and I wanted to share some other information with your blog members.

    Recently, we have seen an increase in the real cost of using new and used cardboard boxes. Lets say a box costs, hummmm $1.50 but delivered to your door its more like $2.12 per box. And you’ll never really know what you need. What we have learned is that there’s a hidden cost of buying, transporting, building, and then loading and offloading cardboard boxes- most people can only carry one box at a time and stack maybe up to 4 on a truck before the bottom one is crushed…

    Our solution is really simple to save you time, money and the Earth. We have programs starting at $169 and going up to $799 ( depending on the amount of stuff you have and time that you need). The Recopack has great comfortable handles, comes in three sizes and is crush proof…. amazing, cheap and fast! No more messy tape, stack in groups of 5 and speed load/offload and no trash! zero waste is a good thing!

    Take a look at a few of the links below and let me know if you need any additional information!

    Why Pack and Move Green? The Recopack 3 minute video

    Have you heard of YELP? Real People, Real Reviews! Take a look at what people are saying about Earth Friendly Moving!

    Listed as one of the top ten business ideas of 2007

    What’s a green product?

    Inventing in the 21st Century

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