Member Spotlight 2012

  Used Cardboard Boxes

Used Cardboard Boxes (UCB) is a national logistics firm focusing exclusively on the reuse of corrugated cardboard boxes. UCB buys used boxes from the largest manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the United States, then inspects, sorts and inventories them. The boxes are either sold by the truckload to other large companies or they are used to make UCB’s eco-friendly moving kits for consumers.  Through a national network of distribution centers, these moving kits can be delivered to any address in the US, in just 1-2 days, with free shipping on all consumer orders.

Creative Reuse Association is a newly launched project of the Reuse Alliance that is working to organize a community of creative reuse centers and upcyclers from around the world. MaryEllen Etienne, Executive Director of Reuse Alliance says “the creative reuse sector has tremendous strengths but lacks cohesion among organizations and professionals. We hope the development of the Creative Reuse Association (CRA) will help the sector by providing a structure and forum for all creative reusers – both seasoned and budding professionals.” Reuse Alliance reached out to Kelley Carmichael Casey, Executive Director of SCRAP (a Portland-based creative reuse center) and a Reuse Alliance board advisor, to help coordinate CRA on behalf of Reuse Alliance. “CRA can help the creative reuse movement”, says Kelley Carmichael Casey, “because there is strength in numbers. CRA will provide the forum to unify sector organizations and advocates to strengthen our collective voice in creative reuse education, policy-making and funding. We hope that CRA will help provide support and cohesion for all of us around the country who are working hard to promote creative reuse in our own communities.”  To complement this effort, Kelley has been working to build capacity in the sector through her recent work – including a new “how-to” book and developing satellite SCRAPs around the country. The book, “The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Creative Reuse Center“, provides a guide for the hundreds of communities eager to start up a creative reuse center.  The book is a helpful tool for any person or group ready to get started. It offers activities and tips for honestly assessing readiness and resources to get started on the right foot. SCRAP “satellites” are a wonderful application of the approach of using replicable models. Part of SCRAP’s mission is to “provide educational programs and affordable materials to the community.” They like to think of the community as a wide open space where we can have impact for reuse. One way they have been able to further our mission is to fiscally sponsor and mentor champions who want to create a SCRAP for their local community. They offer administrative support, 501(c)(3) designation, training, manuals, templates, branding and guidance along the way so they can focus on the mission and fundraising to get off the ground.  We think Reuse Alliance’s mission and network of members and Kelley’s expertise will help CRA get off to a great start”, adds MaryEllen.


The City of Denton, Texas (COD) is leading the way in sustainability and environmental stewardship through forward thinking, research, and partnerships within the state. Their solid waste department has a green purchasing directive which bans the use of single use containers; so that employees use reusable bags, food, and drink containers. In addition, the COD promotes reuse by giving their citizens reusable bags and containers with reuse-friendly messages printed on them. They also offer a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Reuse Store, an award winning program, where residents can get used and/or surplus household chemicals for free. The items on offer, which include fertilizers, paints, and cleaners, are collected through a curbside pickup program.