UCF alumni create environmentally friendly way to make moving green
Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 5, 2012 09:04
College is filled with many experiences, but one of the experiences most often associated with college is the process of moving from one place to another.
The concept of constant moving sparked the idea for BungoBox, a green rental company created by UCF alumni Tom and Bob Cannon.
Concerned with the excess waste of cardboard boxes when moving, the Cannon cousins decided to create an environmentally friendly way to move belongings. They came up with a 100-percent recyclable and reusable container that is made completely of recycled plastic, which can be used up to 400 times. These containers, available in either 2.5- or 3.8-cubic feet in size, can be rented for $1.75 or $2.25, respectively, per week, per box.
Bob, on the board for the Orlando Habitat for Humanity and co-founder of BungoBox, graduated from UCF in 1993 with a degree in liberal studies, focusing on business and economics.
Tom, a 1998 UCF graduate, felt that the company offered customers the opportunity for a practical, environmentally friendly approach to moving.
“Being green isn’t that easy, [but] we tried to build something that wasn’t only practical, but was green,” Tom said. “[Students] will have options that are more practical and make their lives easier that are [also] sustainable and green. I think UCF has well over 50,000 students right now, and students are typically renters. They’re moving a lot more than the rest of the population; with moving so much, it becomes quite a hassle … so we can help save them money.”
Founded in May 2009 and launched in fall 2010, BungoBox has grown to 12 locations, the majority located in Florida, with additional locations in Charlotte, N.C., Phoenix, Atlanta and parts of Canada as well, according to a BungoBox press release.
Originally named “MoveGreen,” the Orlando-based organization offers a sustainable alternative to cardboard boxes, advertising the slogan, “We Make Moving Less Sucky.”
Ward Steunenberg, a BungoBox employee, graduated from UCF last May with a degree in finance and feels that the company connects to UCF and its students.
“I think that a lot of the younger generations are more conscious about the environmental footprint; they’re more likely to do things that are a bit more environmentally friendly,” Steunenberg said. “UCF actually promotes [this] in its students and its faculty as well. I think they’ll realize that it’s not such a bad thing, and that they can go ahead and do it, and it won’t impact their lives in a negative fashion. Being green isn’t difficult.”
Junior Chanelle Mayer, co-director for UCF Greenwaves III, an environmentally friendly concert for the UCF Environmental Coalition, felt that this was a great idea in comparison to the cardboard alternative.
“I remember I had to buy boxes one year because I couldn’t find any, and I wound up spending $50 on boxes — it was ridiculous,” the political science major said. “It’s a step in the right direction … because it’s definitely an area where there’s just so much waste for no reason. It’s really all about smarter solutions … not about being a tree-hugger. It has to be economically suitable, or even economically beneficial."
Steunenberg agreed, commenting on the buildup of cardboard waste that BungoBox has helped to eliminate.
“With campus specifically, kids move in and out of dorms all the time, and there’s a lot of waste going on,” Steunenberg said. “Around moving time, there’s a lot of junk by the dumpsters. Basically [BungoBox] cuts down on cardboard usage. It makes things easier and more efficient. It helps the apartment complexes as well because they pay dumpster removals, so the more dumpsters they remove, the more money in their pockets.”
Heavily involved with community projects such as clothing the homeless and donating their services for charity events, Tom hopes to inspire UCF students to get involved.
“We want to work with UCF students, and we want to foster that [relationship] now,” Tom said. “The good thing about working with students is they’re going to have the opportunity to change the world because they’re the next generation. So working with them now, getting them to work with companies like ours, a few generations later … you establish a major change. It’s always a powerful situation that you can create a product-service that’s adopted by young people in our school that have the potential to change all generations, not just one.”
More information about BungoBox, its mission and its product prices can be found at its website at www.bungobox.com.