It’s What’s on the Inside that Matters

     Would you still buy a pair of shoes if it didn’t come with a box?  I guess I don’t buy expensive enough shoes that I worry about getting them scuffed up on the way home.  I would prefer not to get a box with my shoe purchase because then I’m left with empty shoe boxes all over my closet floor. 

     I have actually found many uses for cardboard shoe boxes.  I can keep socks and underwear separate by putting a shoebox in the kid’s dresser drawer, store children’s art projects in them and keep compact discs or dvds stored in them.  I also use them to ship items purchased from our online trading post.

     Wouldn’t it be nice just to not get the box in fhe first place?  That’s what some shoe companies are trying to do but they are finding some retailers are reluctant to give up their nice storage capability.  Many shoe manufacturers are using recycled material for their boxes and some have gone to no box at all. 

     Packaging can really irritate me.  When you buy a toddler size shoe and it comes in the same size shoe box as an adult shoe it costs more to ship and wastes material.  I often get things shipped to me and something very small will come in an oversized box.  I guess it’s easier to not have as many box sizes to select from.

     I hope that consumers can convince retailers and manufacturers that it’s not the box that we care about.  It’s what is inside that matters.

Are you wasting a hull lotta cardboard?

The Bite
Shipping box reuse, ahoy: Check out companies that’ll hook you up with used cardboard boxes (and sites where you can list your own) for mailing or moving, so you can sink less cash and fewer trees next time you ship or move.

The Benefits

  • Titanic-size energy savings. Remember, it’s reduce, then reuse, then recycle – reusing uses less energy than recycling.
  • Less wallet-wrecking. We found large, used moving boxes for free at one of our links (U-Haul sells ’em new for $3).
  • More trees for makeshift rafts. We cut down about 6 billion trees each year worldwide, and we’re cutting faster than we replant.
  • Not casting it away to the dump. Cardboard makes up more solid waste in our landfills than any other type of trash.
  • If 10,000 Biters use 10 large used or recycled moving boxes instead of new ones, we’ll save 7,350 trees.

Personally Speaking
Sara got a handy Used Cardboard Boxes kit for her SF to NY move. She listed the used boxes on Craigslist when she was done, and someone called about them within half an hour.

Wanna Try?

  • Used Cardboard Boxes – offers gently used and new-but-misprinted boxes by mail. Also: kits that come with packing tape and Sharpies ($76/one bedroom moving kit).
  • BoxCycle – just type in your zip to find used boxes locally – you can pick ’em up today; also list boxes you wanna get rid of ($2 minimum order).
  • Craigslist and – list your unwanted boxes or search for free ones at these sites.