A new company has “moved” into Ottawa this fall, providing savvy consumers with a new convenience-oriented and eco-conscious way to move house. FrogBox, which originated in Vancouver in 2008, began with a simple yet effective idea – provide environmentally friendly, affordable, and convenient reusable plastic boxes for home owners and businesses to rent. Frogbox is simple – a customer places an order at www.FrogBox.com, and the company delivers the boxes, and picks the empty boxes up after the move is over. Customers can access these boxes on a per-use, on-demand basis. This brilliant concept offers a less stressful and more eco-conscious alternative to the usual cardboard boxes used for moving.
You might recognize the bright green boxes from television. FrogBox founder and entrepreneur Doug Burgoyne appeared on Dragon’s Den in 2010, impressing the dragons and leaving with two investors. Today, FrogBox has grown exponentially and is franchised out across Canada and the Northern United States in 19 (soon to be 20) locations.
The success of FrogBox reflects an increasingly environmentally conscious society. Put simply, Canadian consumers are thinking outside the box and demanding alternatives to wasteful practices. Each plastic FrogBox will be reused hundreds of times during its lifespan, a stark difference from a cardboard box which can only be used a limited number of times. Even if cardboard boxes are recycled, they will have to be reprocessed before being used again, making the carbon footprint that much larger than simply reusing. Ottawa franchise part-owner Rob Durie stated, “Our boxes can be used on average 400 times, compared to a cardboard box that might last for two moves. I have always recycled since Ottawa started it’s programs here, but it wasn’t until I joined this company that I learned about the amount of energy that is actually required to recycle a cardboard box.”
In addition, FrogBox is doing their part to be an ecologically responsible business. The company, which won the 2011 Small Business BC Best Green Business Award, donates 1% of gross annual revenues to frog habitat restoration. Durie pointed out that at the current rate, frogs are disappearing at a faster rate than dinosaurs did. The most threatened vertebrate group on Earth, nearly one third of the world’s frogs are in danger. Frogbox, which is named to draw attention to this issue, is putting words into action and encouraging change. Also, whenever possible, Frogbox tries to lower their emissions by using waste stream bio-diesel fuel for their vehicles.
In addition to the obvious positive environmental implications of using FrogBoxes, put simply, it is less of a hassle. Customers do not have to worry about finding, putting together, stacking, and disposing of cardboard boxes. Durie said, “No more bugging the guy in your shipping and receiving area, no dumpster diving for them, and no finding new boxes to put together. It will all be there and ready to use as soon as they are dropped at your door.”
Canadians need to look for ecofriendly alternatives to traditional products and services. Frogbox is an excellent example of a company that is stepping into that role, and as consumers, we need to support innovative companies like this.