In the same do-it-yourself spirit as Caine Monroy, anyone can make just about anything out of cardboard if they really set their mind to it. Plenty of people already have, and to see their works, look no further than Pinterest, a massive social media outlet that serves as, essentially, a giant public bulletin board.
You’ll spot some of the world’s most ingenious designs, all made from cardboard, most of them perfect for crafters of all ages. You’ll see holiday design ideas, articles of clothing, accessories, fortresses, rockets, lettering, and more. Just go to www.pinterest.com and search for “Cardboard” in the search field. You won’t even need to sign up a new account. Pinterest is very public and very friendly that way.
Also: if you run a business and use custom printing to place your logo on the box, just imagine how memorable that logo would be on the side of a rocket ship.
Feeling inspired? Need some cardboard to make your own cardboard marvels? Custom Boxes Now! can help.
Note: In this article, the term “cardboard” is used somewhat interchangeably with “corrugated”. See the Wikipedia definition to understand the technical difference.
Where Does Cardboard Come From?
In the mid 1880’s, a Swedish chemist gave the world a very friendly gift. Dr. Carl F. Dahl invented the chemical process by which we get kraft paper from wood pulp, and by the early 20th century, paperboard (as it is known) was being produced widely throughout the world.
Corrugated is basically layers of this kraft paperboard – a layer of crimped kraft glued to flat kraft surfaces. This corrugated cardboard can then be folded and bound into packing boxes, and can sustain multicolor custom print jobs. (See a previous post about corrugated cardboard for finer details on various styles.)
Where Does Cardboard Go?
In the recycling process, cardboard is broken down with heat and water into pulp to remove dirt and printing ink – the pulp is very much like the pulp made from wood in the original kraft process – and, similarly, is flattened and formed into paperboard, which can become the inner and outer layers of corrugated cardboard.
Not all cardboard can be recycled, of course – coated cardboard containers like milk cartons cannot be reduced to the right kind of pulp again, nor can cardboard that’s been soaked with food grease (like pizza boxes), but recycling centers always perform filtering out of non-recyclable materials, so when uncertain, it’s better to err on the side of recycling.
Watch this amazing video about Caine Monroy, an East Los Angeles boy who created an astounding fun arcade out of cardboard in his dad’s used auto parts store. When he finally gets a customer, it turns out to be a good Samaritan with flash mob connections who helps a dream come true for the young entrepreneur.
Feeling inspired? Need some cardboard to make your own elaborate arcade? Custom Boxes Now! can help.
As we mentioned last time, Custom Boxes Now! is dedicated to using recycled materials to make recyclable materials. We’re certified as a sustainable and earth-friendly business by numerous reputable organizations.
But what does recycling really mean? How big and complex is the recycling industry? And isn’t plastic better for all this? There are many answers to these questions, but the reason we choose paper over plastic or foam or something similar is a simple one, one we’ve mentioned before: sustainability.
Recycling is defined as the reprocessing and reuse of materials. Sustainability is defined as the capacity to endure. By reusing our materials, we increase our capacity to endure. By lengthening the time we have, we are able to recycle better (through technological advancements, social norms shifting to recycling as opposed to direct waste, and so on). The system extends itself in this regard.
We choose paper because modern recycling makes paper easier and easier to recycle. Almost all paper can be recycled, where many types of plastic cannot. This allows our boxes to come from higher-content recycled material, and that means lower business costs for us, which means lower costs for our customers, and that again points to sustainability, both environmental and economical.
Additionally, we do not control how our customers and their customers do away with the custom boxes – many cities and towns have easily-accessible recycling centers, or provide recycling bins to residents and businesses, but not all. If recycling is a burden to them, they may simply discard the shipping boxes. Or, even if mixed in with recyclables, some items may still wind up in landfills, due either to processing error, or simply the local recycling plants’ ability to process various plastics, paper, or other materials. Paper boxes break down and decompose in landfills much faster than plastics. This does not necessarily help keep our costs down, but it does help us lessen the environmental impact we all have.
We choose paper because it makes the most sense for our business. We provide paper packaging for other businesses and their goods and services. Paper keeps our cost and our environmental footprint down, and it helps keep other businesses’ costs and footprints down, too. And whether you use paper or plastic or foam or glass or you string everything up with twine, we encourage recycling and sustainable business processes for you as well. We all help each other sustain.
Have you ever had a hard time getting employees to use the suggestions box at your company? Employee suggestions are some of the most valuable ideas employers can come across, but sometimes getting feedback can be like pulling teeth.
One problem may be the box itself: studies have shown that a box on the wall that is the same color as the wall itself (or, in some cases, the same color as any other box in a room full of boxes) is much more likely to be ignored by most workers. On the other hand, a brightly contrasting box that stands out is not only more likely to solicit suggestions from the staff, it is also more likely to contain actual suggestions, not just abusive comments, as is sometimes the case when suggestion box buy-in is not widespread.
Similarly, have you ever placed a ballot box for the general public to use, perhaps to fill out personal information and enter a contest? Again, the visual aspect of the box itself matters a great deal. It will have to be bright and colorful enough to catch the eyes of the public in a public place, and it will have to be friendly and/or exciting enough to make them want to place a piece of paper inside with their name and number. Custom printing on a corrugated ballot box is the best option for this method of customer engagement.
We humans are highly visual creatures. Colors and patterns on boxes affect our desire to interact with them. If you want people to fill your ballot box with little pieces of paper, you’ll have to have a very special box with the right imagery and the right messaging. We recommend a custom print job, and if you’re wondering, yes, Custom Boxes Now! can help.