The world has gotten much smaller with the prevalence of progressing technology, transportation, and communications. People can hop on a plane and be on the other side of the world in a matter of hours. The touch of a button or screen lets people see and hear each other, allowing interactions to and from almost anywhere on the globe. The advancements that we have made in the recent decades seem to illustrate a boundless ability to build on inventions and discoveries to create new and exciting things, and there does not seem to be an end in sight. As long as we as a society and a species begin to make our relationship with the earth, our home, more of a priority, there could be no stopping our advancements.
There are multiple ways to improve our relationship with the planet, by reducing the significantly negative impact we have so far had on it. And just one of those ways is to buy used shipping containers.
What good does it do to buy used shipping containers?
When you think of things like steel shipping containers, you may imagine something from a different time period. An era not long gone, but still one that does not seem too relevant to today’s high-tech, fast paced world. However shipping goods in large shipping containers is still very much an active industry. In fact there are currently about 17 million shipping containers in usable condition across the planet, and the total trips that these containers take add up to about 200 million journeys every year. Though there are faster transportation options, the costs tied to the movement of bulk goods means that shipping still makes sense.
Actually, about 95% of the cargo transported worldwide is done so by ships. And the massive metal boxes are good for more than just transporting goods, too. Some are transformed into portable office containers, making it simpler to set up the center for operations on projects that move often.
Help the planet, recycle and reuse
So what is the significance of buying them used? The same as for anything that gets recycled and reused: it is kinder to the planet in the long run. When you buy used shipping containers instead of ordering brand new ones, you reduce the amount of materials, manpower, and other resources that are used to create new containers and dispose of the old ones. And that consists of quite a few resources. We are already losing perfectly good containers and their contents at a rate of about 675 containers every year, due to storms and accidents at sea. And at this point, the planet is overwhelmed with overflowing landfills and junk yards. Anything that we can do to slow down, stop, and even reverse that damage is essential.
Storage container modifications are always better
It is not difficult to modify a storage container for a new purpose. Whether you are in need of a portable office, climate controlled containers, or simply something basic, it is relatively easy to put together what you need, especially in comparison to the construction of a brand new container. Most containers can last for at least 20 years when they are properly cared for and maintained, and even after that, they can be repurposed for something else entirely.
While there are in fact about 17 million usable containers, just 6 million of them are actually being used. So there are plenty to spare for any purpose, without the need of building brand new ones. And when the parts of a shipping container are used to make another, there are about 3,500 kilograms of steel that are being reused, in addition to several other building materials that are saved by reusing old materials.
Buy used shipping containers. You will be making a positive impact instead of being a part of the detrimental habits that we humans have perpetuated for far too long. And as the containers are so versatile, think of the other positive possibilities: using them to create shelters for stray animals, or even basic homes for those who have found themselves on the streets. Getting creative with what we already have is how we save the planet.