Who knew the folks at eBay were so creative? Every year the company hosts an Innovation Expo that invites eBay employees from every department and level of the organisation to develop prototypes for new products and breakthrough innovations for buyers and sellers. And this year, with 250 employees on nearly 80 teams competing, the competition was stiff and in the end, so was the winner (yet pliable at the same time).
The winning concept is called simple green shipping. What is it? A box. No ordinary box, mind you. A fancy and durable box that’s been designed to be used over and over again, and it looks funky to boot.
“That might sound like a pretty simple concept, but we think the idea is actually pretty powerful – especially in a marketplace like eBay where many of our buyers are also sellers and sellers are also buyers,” says eBay.
Six months later—and with the help of countless volunteer hours from employees across the company—the eBay Box will be revealed to the world in October, with 100, 000 boxes in three sizes to be distributed to eBay sellers as part of a pilot.
And kind of operating not so much like a chain letter but more of a chain box, each box contains a space for you to write a personal message to the next person in the chain. The history of each box can also be tracked through a virtual online community of buyers and sellers.
EBay calculates that if every box is reused at least five times, 4,000 trees will get an extension on life, saving 2.4 million gallons of water and conserving enough energy to power 49 homes for a year.
And after one reuse to many, the boxes can be fully recycled because they’re made from 100 percent recycled content, FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) corrugated cardboard.