re-using our cardboard boxes
Pre-COVID 19, we'd use around 60 cardboard boxes of various sizes each week to pack up and send out our orders. This is now slowly creeping back up as we're well into Level 1 here in Wellington.
During Level 2, 3 & 4, we'd estimate that we use around 20 boxes a week. These are cardboard boxes that our supplies arrive in. The average weight of these re-used cardboard boxes is around 700g.
That’s 14kg of cardboard a week – which equates to around 728kg of cardboard a year!
If you combine that with the cardboard that we’ve avoided using because of our shift to buying Canola Oil in bulk then we’re saving almost a tonne of cardboard!
Currently, we end up recycling very little cardboard and re-use everything! Only those boxes that are too damaged to re-use end up being recycled at our local depot.
what are the environmental benefits from not using that tonne of cardboard?
Google isn’t the most reliable source of information on this unfortunately, but we can say with confidence that we’re saving the following:
One popular and oft-repeated statistic is that it takes 17 trees to make a tonne of paper. Presumably, that’s not too different for a tonne of cardboard. Obviously, this number will be reduced by the percentage of recycled pulp being used.
Used in the various processes to turn either wood or recycled cardboard into the materials used in the process and then into the finished product.
From harvesting the trees to delivering the finished cardboard to our warehouse and all the stops in between.
There are lots of these being used throughout the process to make cardboard, and it’s fair to assume that a lot of them are not that good for the environment.
The following diagram illustrates all those various steps – albeit in a nice friendly design. The reality of cardboard box manufacturing is most definitely not so pretty.