Greenbox Pizza Box
Greenbox Pizza Box – Image courtesy of GreenBox

It’s an age-old conundrum, what do you do with the pizza box after you have mindlessly scarfed down the last piece of delicious deep-dish? Can you recycle it? Should you compost it? Do the grease spots and random pineapple pieces stuck to the lid mean it’s destined for the trash?

This dilemma is clearly on people’s minds – an Earth911 article on the topic, The Pizza Box Mystery, has been shared hundreds of times – and one company has taken an innovative step to address the issue, solving a few others along the way as well.

At first glance, the GreenBox looks like your average run-of-the-mill pizza box, but its unique design means that this unassuming cardboard container does triple duty. After serving its original purpose of transporting a piping hot pie right to your doorstep, the lid breaks apart to function as four plates, eliminating the need for using single-use paper or plastic plates.

The bottom of the box then neatly folds in half to contain the leftovers – if there are any – until you find yourself blearily scavenging for food in the depths of your fridge the next morning.

GreenBox Pizza Box
GreenBox Pizza Box – Image courtesy of GreenBox

The cardboard used in the construction of the GreenBox is 100% recycled (and yes, recyclable if not soiled by grease or pizza particulates) but the interesting part about this product is how it eliminates the need for other, more wasteful alternatives.

By building serving plates and a fridge-friendly storage container right into the design of the pizza box, GreenBox has all but eliminated the need for paper or plastic plates, as well as tinfoil or plastic wrap. This type of all-encompassing design that eliminates redundancy and understands how consumers really use the product is essential to the growth of Eco-friendly products as realistic, sustainable, and useful alternatives.

It’s not about asking consumers to sacrifice quality or efficacy simply to be green, but instead, offering an environmentally friendly alternative that costs no more (the makers of GreenBox say it doesn’t cost more than the typical China-manufactured pizza boxes) and is actually better.

Pizza is, at its core, a convenience food. And if we are honest, even the most earth-conscious among us have those nights where we are bone-tired, empty-fridged, and slowly coming to the realizing that the bunch of wilted kale isn’t going to steam itself.

Ideas like the GreenBox allow companies to work with consumers by redesigning traditionally wasteful products with a green goal in mind. Consider it the harm reduction approach, applied to environmentalism. And with extra cheese.

By Madeleine Somerville

Madeleine Somerville is the author of All You Need Is Less: An Eco-Friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity. She is a writer, wannabe hippie and lover of soft cheeses. She lives in Edmonton, Canada, with her daughter. You can also find Madeleine at her blog, Sweet Madeleine.