zero waste moving boxes

More Cardboard

Cardboard is in more demand now than ever before (WSJ).  In 2021, US producers cranked out an estimated 400 billion square feet of corrugated product.  Boxes contain everything from e-commerce deliveries to bananas at the grocery store.  Most of the cardboard gets recycled – the EPA references recycling rates as high as 96%.  Neighborhood piles of monthly bulk trash could lead one to question that number.  Nevertheless, the majority of cardboard is recycled.  What does that process look like?  (HowItsMade video)

The process or making cardboard boxes from fresh trees goes from forest to mill to manufacturer to retailer to end user.

Making A Moving Box

Ubiquitous and cheap, cardboard boxes are convenient.  However, not all costs are monetary.  Cardboard is a single use product.  What goes into making a moving box?  First, grind up an input (trees, sawdust, old cardboard boxes), combine a lot of water and chemicals, then heat out the water to shape paper.  Finally, paper rolls are shaped and glued into cardboard boxes.  This simplified overview of the manufacturing process leaves out a lot of the transport and resources needed to make a box.

Recycling cardboard makes a big difference in how many trees are harvested each year.  So is recycled cardboard the best solution?

Recycled Cardboard Boxes

The supply chain for recycled cardboard moving boxes uses plenty of transport and energy.  Huge amounts of energy, water, and transportation are required.  Each touchpoint also requires profit to keep the process moving.  A glance at the overall value chain reveals plenty of room for efficiency gains.

As sustainability becomes more important every year to US consumers, they require more eco-friendly solutions.  To be perfectly clear, recycled cardboard is a good thing.  Less trees are cut down as our own trash is used as an input instead.  What alternatives offer more benefits and less waste?

Recycled cardboard starts with consumer waste then is transported to sorting, paper mills, manufacturers, and retailers for consumers to use again.

The Zero Waste Moving Box

Search the internet for “best moving boxes” and you are sure to find some of the old guard pumping out articles about how cardboard is the “standard” in the moving industry.  True.  We admit that reBOX is moving the standard up a bit.  Gasoline was the standard motor for over a hundred years.  Things change.  An alternative to cardboard will not work in all scenarios but with local moving, reBOX is the best choice — better boxes with zero waste.

Our reusable product has just 4 simple steps — delivery, use, pickup, and cleaning — repeated over and over again at a local level.  This isn’t a new idea.  With the lack of refrigeration in the 1930s, milk was distributed this way using glass containers until the 1960s.

The reBOX is manufactured in the US from 100% recycled content, used over 100 times for local moves, then recycled at end of life back to the manufacturer.  This accountability loop is known as a closed-loop lifecycle.  Nothing to landfill and the water used in the cleaning process is a fraction of that used in creating cardboard (new or recycled).

Sustainable moving boxes do not have the same panache as say, Tesla.  Nevertheless, using a recycled tote is a better choice for the environment and offers a better experience than cardboard moving boxes.  If you need validation, then please read our reviews.  In Dallas-Fort Worth last year we rented enough boxes to save an estimated 35,000 gallons of water and 53 trees from the paper making process.  That is progress towards a better tomorrow!

large moving tote made of recycled plastic

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