Green Moving with Reusable Moving Boxes: Our Review of Popular Options

Traditional moving boxes are always a problem. It’s a pain to get them, they’re too expensive, and then, once you’re moved, you likely don’t have the storage to keep them … so you have to throw them out. Or you’ll go the free box route, scavenging empty boxes from supermarkets and liquor stores and worrying about all types of bugs they may contain.

But now there’s a better way: reusable plastic moving boxes. It’s a new business model, so it’s not available in all cities, but it’s growing quickly … and if it is available in your city, it’s a pretty neat idea: they’re cheaper than regular moving boxes and someone picks them up when you’re done. Plus, they’re more durable than regular cardboard boxes. Below is a list of some of the most established companies providing this service:

RentaGreenBox.com is available in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. It claims to be the first green moving business – and it has very reasonable prices. The company provides various sizes of plastic boxes, and even provides eco-friendly packing material. For example, if you are moving a one bedroom, you get 25 reusable plastic boxes of various sizes for 2 weeks for only $99, which includes free delivery and pick up of the boxes. There are two versions of packing material – the type that is sourced from landfill material and which the company will take back when you’re done, and the type that is biodegradable, and that can be spread on your garden and will then function as a fertilizer. Very neat company – and franchising opportunities are available, so it may expand to your area soon.

ZippGo serves the greater San Francisco area. They also use environmentally friendly packing material, they have three sizes of boxes, and their prices are comparable to RentaGreenBox.com, though they charge a delivery fee to get the boxes to you.

JuggleBox serves the New York City area and has competitive pricing – equipment for a one bedroom move is $129, it includes 35 plastic boxes and free delivery and pickup.

BungoBox serves various locations, including Orlando, Gainsville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Tampa, Atlanta, Phoenix, Charlotte, Denver, and Halifax and Edmonton in Canada. They are expanding rapidly, so check back to see if they’re in your area. They charge per box per week at good rates, so you can personalize your moving experience. Or you can spring for a value pack. For example, a one bedroom package for one week is only $49.75. They also provide reusable wardrobe boxes (at $5 per week), which is a definite plus.

For our Canadian readers, there’s FrogBox based out of Vancouver, but available in many large Canadian cities. The company also has outposts in Seattle, Minneapolis, and Boise.

RentaCrate, which was started in 1991, has offices throughout the United States, though they are more focused on business moving than apartments – that said, if you’re having trouble finding a good option, they may be worth contacting, since they do have a homes service.

So, as you can see, the green moving paradigm is rapidly expanding – for your next move, you may want to check it out. Next week, I’ll cover what to do about boxes, if moving green isn’t an option in your area.

Author My First Apartment
Alex

Posted by

Alex has rented in Minneapolis, Queens, Brooklyn, and now Chicago. He can kill rodents and roaches when required, and loves picture-hanging projects. If you're ever in town, give him a shout.

Leave a Comment

Comments (4)

  1. Wegobox Chicago

    Just wanted to let the Chicago readers that Wegobox Chicago http://www.wegobox.com has arrived to the Chicagoland area to provide this eco-friendly option. So Move Fast Move Green and Move right. Thanks

    Reply
  2. Sisko

    We just heard about another moving box company, called Jugglebox. If you are in Connecticut, contact dan@juggleboxmoving.com for information. Dan is a Marine vet has just opened the business, so we give him a shoutout and wish him good luck.

    Reply
  3. jonelbelen

    Great options. When purchasing a new home most people tend to move in with the same furniture they’ve been hauling around since their college years. However, it’s important, nay imperative, that you decorate both the interior and exterior of your home to match the style of the home you bought. Maybe we should back up about fifteen steps: When it comes right down to it, you shouldn’t be buying a home in a style that you don’t want to decorate and live in for as long as you own the house.

    Reply
  4. Alex Alex

    Last week I said I’d fill you in on getting boxes the traditional method, so I’ve appended my brief tutorial here in the comments section.

    As I see it, there are four main things to consider:

    1) Scrounging from liquor stores, grocery stores, etc. If you do this, call ahead – often the stores will breakdown the boxes shortly after they’ve been used, so you need to let them know you want to pick them up. Also, keep in mind that liquor stores generally don’t have any truly big boxes, which is something I’ve found problematic. And, you’ll need strong tape to reinforce the boxes, since they’ve already been used.

    2) Suck it up and buy boxes. Uhaul or Budget or any of the other major truck renters sell good quality boxes of many sizes at their rental office. You don’t need to be a renter in order to purchase these boxes.

    3) Go online to get your boxes. This is usually cheaper. There are sites like usedcardboardboxes.com that have cheap deals and that ship, as well as free box exchanges, such as at freecardboardboxes.com. That said, be careful. I bought boxes and bubble wrap online for my last move and when they shipped, it was so poorly packed that the bubble wrap was crushed by the boxes, and half of my order (mostly boxes) never arrived. When I called the company I got an answering machine, and I ended up having to go back and use Choice 2, since time was low.

    4) Most movers will sell you (or rent you) major-sized boxes, such as wardrobe boxes. I highly recommend renting wardrobe boxes if possible – it makes moving your clothes much easier and it’s simple to pack them day-of, plus they’re very cheap to rent at $5-15 per.

    For me, your priorities should be as such: if you have time to look around for free boxes in your neighborhood, or do an online search for cheap or free boxes (freecycle is another good one), go for it, but keep in mind you might come up empty, in which case you’ll probably need to buy boxes at a brick and mortar store. It stinks, but don’t do what I’ve seen done and cut corners. Once, during a brief stint as a mover, I encountered a person who put a their stuff, jumbled together in large plastic trash bags. It was a nightmare to move them (lifting heavy, misshapen bags while trying not the break them and while stacking them in a truck is unpleasant) and they likely had a few things smashed. So, whether you like it or not, some sort of box is a necessity.

    Reply