Conscious Gift Wrapping
Starts With Used Boxes
By Tyler Wright
The best way to be a part of reducing Southern California’s hungry appetite of 700,000 tons of cardboard per month is to start using some of it . . . again.
The tree-saving company, UsedCardboardBoxes.com, gets once-used boxes from major corporations and individuals and then sells them for about half the price of a new box — the two-year-old trend is gaining momentum with locations in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Pomona, among true tree huggers, Toyota Prius-driving wannabes, and savvy penny pinchers.
The used-box rescuers sell to mostly home and office movers, but have shifted outside the big box for the holiday season. “We are getting a lot of orders for smaller boxes for gift wrapping and sending packages,” says Marty Metro, who started UsedCardboardBoxes.com after being fed up with dumpster diving for the ideal used box. “Right now we’re carrying shoe-box sizes and everything bigger.”
Also, unlike most environmentally-friendly products, used cardboard boxes are cheaper than their tree-maiming alternative: new boxes.
Idea to make gift wrapping more fun
Who said that gifts have to be wrapped in red, white and green? Reduce the amount of new paper products you consume by cutting used boxes into different shapes. Go for the natural look and your gifts will stick out among the paper-clad festive folk. If you have children, this can be an eco-friendly and creative project, all at the same time. As long as the address or packing slip is clear and visible, shipping companies accept any shape, and family members will graciously accept any gift.
* Globally, over 90% of all products are shipped in boxes.
* In the U.S. 75% of these boxes are recycled, less than 1% are reused.
* Approximately 223 lbs. of corrugated containers are produced per year, per person.
* The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 120 million tons of cardboard are consumed in the U.S. each year — approximately the same weight as 286,000 Boeing 747 jets!
* Nationwide, paper and cardboard account for 41% of all municipal solid waste.
* One tree can filter up to 60 lbs. of air pollutants each year.
* New paper products that also use recycled paper consist of only 30% post-consumer materials.
* Over 43 million people a year move in the U.S.
*Source U.S. Census
* A portion of UsedCardboardBoxes.com’s profits are donated to the L.A.-based environmental group, TreePeople.org
For more information, visit: www.usedcardboardboxes.com
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