Moving house: It’s hectic, stressful and an easy time to throw efforts to be sustainable out the window; bring on the boxes and Styrofoam, many of us concede. But one such move by one individual eight years ago prompted the first completely eco-friendly moving company—which today has its products and services spread throughout the nation.
“I had to pack and move my business,” says Spencer Brown, founder of Rent-A-Green Box. “I ended up spending eight hundred dollars, which was expensive, and building boxes, which was really time consuming. Also, when I built a box I didn’t do a very good job and a lot of things broke in transit.
It was then Brown had his inspiration. “While at a landfill I saw bleach bottles,” he continues. “I thought, ‘Let’s just take this plastic and make a recycled plastic moving box that is rentable, reusable and zero waste.’”
After nine months of diligent effort and long hours, the RecoPack—which stands for Recycled Ecological Packing Solution—was born. “I had the concept and I took it to market by myself, with no bank, no financing, no investors,” he recalls. “We talked to consumers and they said they wanted three sizes, so that’s what we did.”
Expanding from the box rentals, the product line quickly grew. Brown and his team came up with eco-friendly pallets for the RecoPacks, and then fulfilled another requirement. “Customers said, ‘Oh, it would be good to have a dolly,” he recounts. “We found that most dollies were steel based, made in China and imported and sold, and were just very low quality. We decided to use scrap aluminum, and we crafted a dolly that’s now seven years old. It’s specifically designed for the residential mover.”
Over the last seven years the company has developed more than forty zero-waste packing/moving products, including eco packing paper, gloves and mattress bags. “We even utilize recycled old hospital and hotel draperies that have been sun damaged,” Brown says. “Instead of throwing them away, we get them and make a whole line of soft goods like duffle bags and pillow packs so you can pack and move your soft goods without boxing them.”
Brown has also managed to make green moving less expensive and even easier than conventional methods. “We’re half the cost of cardboard; we’re at least 50 percent faster and easier, because you’re not building anything and breaking it down; and all the boxes are cleaned and sanitized before and after each move. All you have to do is load your contents, close the lids and roll them out.”
For more information, please visit www.rentagreenbox.com. The Green Box services are currently available throughout Los Angeles and Orange County and in many cities across the United States. Contact the company to find a Green Box service near you.