Thursday, October 4, 2007 2007 People's Choice Award - part 7

Moving? need some boxes? want to do it sustainably? If you answered 'Yes' to all the 2 questions, our nominee today can help you. Please welcome nominee no. 7 on Eco-Libris blog Unofficial Guide to Co-op America's 2007 People's Choice Award for the Green Business of the Year:

Business description: collecting used cardboard boxes, packaging them and reselling them at discounted prices. rescues truckloads of quality used boxes from businesses and also rescues brand new misprints and overruns from box manufacturers that can longer use those boxes. It puts all of these boxes through a rigorous inspection and certification process, prior to allowing them to be used in its inventory.

Located at: Santa Monica, CA

Operating Since: 2006 (Predecessor company, Boomerang Boxes, founded 2002)


The questionnaire (thank you to Marty Metro,'s Founder and CEO):

1. What makes your business a green business? is changing the moving box industry, in a very simple way. Rather than cutting down trees and using machinery, gasoline, electricity, etc. to make new boxes, we sell quality used boxes that already exist.

With traditional cardboard box recycling, quality used boxes are baled and shipped to Asia, to be made into new products. There is nothing wrong with that type of recycling, especially if the boxes can’t be used again, here in the US. However, works with companies right here in the US that historically dispose of quality used boxes. We acquire those boxes and we put them back into the marketplace right here, in the US. No need to destroy them. No need to bale them. No need to ship them to Asia.

The great thing about is that our customers aren’t just buying a “green product” from a “green company”… they are actually saving money, at the same time.
Few more green points:
- Over $120,000,000,000 worth of cardboard boxes are produced around the world, each year.

- Over 90% of all products in the U.S. are shipped in corrugated cardboard boxes.

- Almost one billion trees a year are used for making paper.

- Trees clean our air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing clean oxygen back into the air for us to breathe. One tree can filter up to 60 pounds of pollutants from the air each year.

- It takes an estimated 17 trees to create enough cardboard boxes to move one family living in an average three bedroom house.

- Making the pulp from trees for use in corrugated cardboard creates sulfur dioxide pollution. Recycling corrugated cardboard cuts the emissions of sulfur dioxide in half and uses about 25% less energy than making cardboard from virgin pulp. No recycling the box, but simply reusing it emits no sulfur dioxide.

- Saving one ton of cardboard saves over 9 cubic yards of landfill space, saves 390 kWh of energy and saves 1.1 barrels (46 gallons) of oil.

- Nationwide, paper and cardboard account for 41% of all municipal solid waste--that's close to half of all the garbage generated in the US!

- It takes 17 trees to absorb the harmful carbon dioxide emitted from one car every year.

2. What is your green characteristic you're most proud of?

That’s pretty easy. We are very proud of two things, here at

- We’ve created a virtually “zero waste” company that not only sells a very “green” product, but sells it for LESS than the competition. So, I’d have to say that we are most proud of the fact that we are showing the world that green does not have to cost more. At, being green actually saves you money.
- Unlike a lot of “green companies” and other organizations that are popping to do their part to save the planet (which is a great thing), we are actually making money while we do it. Its very difficult to be green and also pay your own bills, let alone grow. is proud to say that we are a for-profit company that has proven to the world that you can make money AND be green. It doesn’t have to be a choice between the two. We help our customers save money, we pay our employees well, we are making a strong impact on the environment and society, all while making enough profit to keep us growing. Yep, we are proud of that!

3. What is your biggest achievement so far?’s biggest achievement so far would have to be the fact that we took a local “retail store concept” in Los Angeles and went nationwide. Two years ago, we were proud to say that we serviced an area from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and we delivered 2 days a week. Today, I’m excited to say that is NATIONWIDE! And, we ship our moving boxes anywhere in the country, for FREE.

There are lots of traditional box companies that offer 5-7 day shipping and/or charge $14.95 - $49.95 just to ship enough boxes to move a household. But at, anyone in the country who orders used moving boxes from our website will get their boxes in 1-2 business days, guaranteed. We are the only company in the US that can do this. We’ve come a long way in the last few years and I’d say that’s quite an achievement.

4. In what way do you think that you help people to take a green action and make a difference? provides a way for people to buy a “green product” that actually costs less than the traditional product. And, because has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, we provide a “no risk” way to try us out. Because we take a portion of our proceeds and plant trees through our partner,, our customers purchasing actions do more than just get them low cost, risk free moving boxes… they contribute to planting trees and educating people about trees, at the same time.

Our customers don’t have to research charities to find out who actually plants trees and how many. We’ve done the research and completely stand behind them. A portion of our proceeds to go plant trees, but our customers can also choose to plant their own from our site, for only $25. Its amazing to see when our customers purchase one of our smallest moving kits for just $36, but then go ahead and donate a tree, for an additional $25. We like to think that because of the money we are saving them, they are able to do such wonderful acts. The reality is our customers are just plain awesome!

5. Who is your green hero?

Well, there are a lot of pioneers in the green movement these days. New people come up with new green concepts everyday. But I have to say that for, our heroes are our customers. We have built an amazing business with sophisticated processes and world-class technology. However, if its wasn’t for our customers, that made a conscious decision to switch to used boxes, we would be out of business quickly.

However, we have been growing strong. Not only do more and more customers come to, but one of our top referral sources is word of mouth from our customers. They are helping us spread the word, by telling friends about us, nominating us for Coop America’s “Green Business of the Year” and more. I can’t tell you how many calls we get from people saying “my sister said that I just HAD to use you….” and the like.

We don’t have a single salesperson at We are grateful to have a customer base that loves to brag about us. So, whether they have been green for years, or are just experimenting for the first time with, our customers are our biggest green heroes.

6. What's your green dream for your business?

On one hand, our dreams have come true. We took a simple concept and spent 5 years developing the logistics, technology and business processes to have national company, where anyone in the country could easily purchase used cardboard boxes. We did it! Now, our dream is for EVERYONE in the country to know that “you don’t have to cut down a tree, to make a used cardboard box!” In other words, the dream for is that every person and company in the country will consider using a used box, before contributing to making new ones!

The next nominee: Flexcar

And if you missed the parts of the Unofficial Guide we published so far on Eco-Libris blog, please check them out:

Part 1 - Natural Pet Home Store
Part 2- Mountains of the Moon
Part 3 - Yoga Nine
Part 4 - Pizza Fusion
Part 5 - Green Living Now
Part 6 -


Eco-Libris: Plant a tree for everybook you read!