Sponsored by Lane Powell

Outside the box

| Print |  Email
Articles - November 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

By Linda Baker

1111_OutsideTheBox_01
Scott Fitzsimons and Genevieve Rades at A Little Bit of Smoke food cart at SW Ninth and Alder. The cart participates in the GO Box program. 
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina

It takes a village to raise a business. That’s the attitude adopted by GO Box, a startup that aims to reduce waste generated by disposable food cart containers. The company, which launched this past summer, relies on a volunteer network of local shops and restaurants to help distribute its reusable food cart containers.

“It’s a business based heavily on partnerships,” says GO Box founder Laura Weiss, a former Oregon Environmental Council staffer. After paying cart vendors a one-time $8.50 fee for a container, customers drop off the used GO Box at one of three local businesses: the Westside Athletic Club, Woonwinkel and Pedal Bike Tours. Riding her cargo bike, Weiss then transports the dirty containers to the Bijou Café and The Original, two restaurants that wash the containers free of charge.

At the drop sites, customers receive a token to be exchanged for another clean container.

What’s the payoff for the participating businesses? “The idea of new customers coming into the store, who may not have otherwise, is enticing,” says Woonwinkel co-owner Erica Essink.

“The concept is really impressive,” says Bijou Café owner Kathleen Hagberg. “And we know what it’s like to start a business.”

As of mid October, Weiss had signed up 250 subscribers, as well as 22 cart vendors who pay up to $40 a month for the containers. Employers such as Ecos Consulting and Mercy Corps also pay up to $100 a month for an onsite drop box. Such community involvement is the key to waste reduction, Weiss says. Fortunately for GO Box, “We have a very progressive business community.”

 

Comments   

 
todd
0 #1 An Idea Who's Time Has Cometodd 2011-11-01 18:06:14
With the rise of the food carts it's only natural something had to be done to offset the amount of trash created by them. Goboxpdx is just the right business at just the right time. It just goes to show how environmentalis m and business can work great together.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Cache and Curry

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Power Lunch at Swagat in Hillsboro.


Read more...

Game On

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The big news at Oregon Business is we’re getting a ping pong table. After reading the descriptions of the 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, a disproportionate number of which feature table tennis in the office, I decided it was time to bring our own workplace into the 21st century. It was a tough call, but it’s lonely at the top, and someone has to make the hard decisions.


Read more...

10 quotes explaining crisis at Port of Portland

The Latest
Friday, February 20, 2015
022015 port portland OBM-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The ongoing labor disputes at the Port of Portland came to a head two weeks ago when Hanjin, the container port's largest client, notified its customers it would be ending its direct route to Oregon.


Read more...

5 schools helping students crack code

The Latest
Thursday, January 29, 2015
codeduthumbnailBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As the costs of college mount, and as employer demand for software developers soars, coding schools and classes are popping up everywhere.


Read more...

10 Twitter highlights from #OR100Best

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
100bestBY OB STAFF

Oregon Business held its  22nd annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon celebration Thursday night in the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...

A legislative preview — and celebration

Linda Baker
Friday, January 23, 2015
012315-speaker-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Northwest Environmental Business Council previews the 2015 legislative agenda as Hatch Oregon celebrates Oregon's new community crowdfunding rules.


Read more...

Grassroots movement pursues carbon bills

News
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
eventthumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A partnership of a grassroots environmental organization and a youth group is striving to build community and business support for carbon price legislation.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS