Fueled by Girl Power! Lend A Box

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 8.28.41 AMWhen we were young, my sisters and I loved the expression, “Girl Power!” We used it obsessively. It was the ultimate answer to life’s most interesting questions. But digging deeper into my memory, I realized that Girl Power was our mother’s gift to us. She taught us at an early age that we could in fact do anything we wanted to do, all we had to do was try. She led by example, encouraged us to try out ideas and expected nothing but the best, no matter what the result was.

Fast forward to today. Girl Power still rocks our life. Our company, Lend A Box, isn’t just about the boxes. It’s about the empowerment that comes with being an entrepreneur, a business owner, a market disrupter, and having the ability to say, “Yes!” to help others achieve their goals. You can see the positive (and sometimes negative) effects of your
daily decisions manifest in a million different ways. What I love is that we are active participants in creating the story. When we work with a client, and she tells us
that we made her life just a bit easier, that her move was a success, or that her project is done – that’s Girl Power paying it forward, fueling us and others.

Creating a company is one of the most fun, scary, difficult, exhilarating, exhausting and crazy experiences one can have. The inspiration for sticking to the plan comes from many, but first and foremost, for us it came from our Mom – our number one cheerleader, the first investor, and the person we want to show that we can do it,
just like she did before us.

Our responsibility is to continue the tradition that was started by the strong  women we admire, and to nurture and inspire our daughters to follow in our footsteps. That’s not so easy is it? In our households, it starts with a fist bump. Life lessons, important messages, and restarts are always punctuated with a Girl Power fist bump. (High fives definitely work too, but our kids are partial to the many modern variations that come with the fist bumps!) Every day when I wake up, I make an effort to do my best, and hope that I can inspire Girl Power to work its magic in those we love most and the wonderful people we work with in the many different facets of life.

– Stephanie and Janice

Was Kermit Wrong? | Lend A Box

lendaboxIn 1970, Kermit the Frog lamented that, “it’s not easy being green.” Forty-four years later, we wondered if Kermit was still right or if times had changed – is it easier to be green today than it was in the decade of disco? This might seem like a strange question to ponder in 2014, but it’s actually very relevant. The same year that Kermit uttered that now famous phrase, Earth Day, the day of celebrating being green, came into being. In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, we decided to find out exactly how much easier it is to be green today than it was in 1970. After a few hours of research, we are happy to report that Kermit probably finds today’s world a much easier place to be green than the one he knew in 1970. Check out the statistics below and we think you’ll agree that, while we have a long way to go, Americans are definitely becoming more green-friendly.

  • ln 1970, less than 10% of trash generated in America was recycled; today, we recycle more than 34% (about 1.51 pounds of the approximately 4.43 pounds of waste generated per individual).  By recycling, we prevented almost 90 million tons of material from being disposed of in 2011, up from about 15 million tons in 1980.
  • Approximately six percent of Americans recycled in 1970. Today, that number is over 50%.
  • Waste going into landfills has decreased from 89% in 1980 to about 54% in 2010.
  • The pollutant s in our air leading to smog, acid rain, and lead poisoning have decreased by over 60% since the 1970s.
  •  98% of lead acid and car batteries are recycled.
  • In 2010, recycling, reuse and remanufacturing account for 3.1 million jobs in America -about one out of every three green jobs.
  • America Recycles Day (November 15th) started in 1997 and is used as a day to encourage Americans to reduce, reuse, and recycle their waste.

(The above statistics may be found at www.epa.org, www.earthday.org. and www.ecocycle.org.)

Companies small and large are making a positive impact on our environment, too. Numerous companies have made the decision to go paperless, plant trees, and provide environmentally friendly goods and services. We are proud to say that our company, Lend A Box, saved three tons of cardboard from ending up in the landfill in 2013! Put another way, by preventing 6000 pounds of cardboard from heading for a landfill, Lend A Box saved 3.3 barrels (138 gallons) of oil and 19.8 million BTU’s of energy.

While all of this is terrific news, we should not lose sight of the fact that so much more can and should be done. We can each have a positive impact on our world, leaving it a better place than when we found it , which will allow actual frogs (although we love Kermie!) to continue to live happily … and green.

– Janice Gambaccini and Stephanie Zimmerman
Co-owners, Lend A Box

A New Year’s Resolution

I Heart Buying LocalEach January, we make resolutions for the New Year, with every intention of keeping them. For most of us, those resolutions fade away to memory before the daffodils poke their heads out of the ground. This year, I would like to challenge you to make a commitment to an important resolution for the entire year – one that will not only help you enjoy the community around you more, but will also help your community thrive: buy local.

Buying local obviously supports the storeowners who live in your neighborhood, and maybe even across the street. But your purchases also allow them to hire employees and work with other local vendors, creating a strong and vibrant community. In contrast, large national chains rarely make community-level choices if those decisions don’t benefit them financially. So it really comes down this: Wouldn’t you rather support your neighbor’s business instead of a disinterested Fortune 50 company located far away from your community?

If you answered yes to this question, then the next question is – how should you get started? The easiest way is to buy groceries from local grocery stores and fresh produce and meats from food co-ops. You can even have the food delivered to you, taking away the argument that it takes too much time to go to different stores to buy different items. Moreover, your purchases support your community as well as the environment because local goods don’t require additional fuel and energy costs to get to you.

Need a gift? Try looking in one of the numerous and unique stores that line the streets of our towns. You’ll support the storeowner and the recipient of your gift will appreciate a unique gift that can’t be found in a box store. Everyone likes to feel special, and a unique local gift is a great way to let someone know how much you care. If you remodel or renovate your home this year, consider using locally sourced materials instead of materials shipped half way around the world. Be kind to the environment, too, and have

reusable and environmentally friendly plastic boxes delivered to you instead of using cardboard to store your stuff during the remodel. The convenience of having them picked up after you finish your remodel is an added bonus!

Do you have some clothing or furniture to donate? Any food items to share? Instead of sending them to the national charities, consider some of the small local charities, which can immediately use donations to help people in our community.

There are so many ways we can help make our community better. Let’s start off 2014 the right way for our local businesses!

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 8.28.41 AMABOUT US

Janice Gambaccini and Stephanie Zimmermann are sisters and co-owners of a local business called Lend A Box, LLC, which delivers environmentally friendly moving boxes to customers before they move and picks them up after the move is complete. Janice and Stephanie have lots of great ideas for local places to shop and eat – just ask them!

The Challenge of “Right-Sizing”

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 4.26.04 PMOur housing needs change throughout our lives and we continually move to homes that fit those needs. We have roommates in small college dorm rooms. We live in studios that seem luxurious by comparison after we graduate. We get married and move into larger apartments or starter homes. As our families grow, larger houses are needed. But then those houses become empty as children start lives of their own – and it’s time to find a new, smaller “right sized” home again. For many people, the thought of leaving that big empty house, with so many happy memories associated with it, is difficult to accept. And many times, it is the children who help the parents mentally prepare for and embrace the change when maintaining the large house is no longer an option. Obviously, helping parents move is stressful, but with proper planning, there are ways to alleviate some of that stress. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Help your parents determine where they want to move. Consider how close each option is to family, friends, support groups, and entertainment. Find out how safe the area is and how easy it is to get around – will your parents need a car or can they walk everywhere? Is it safe to walk at night?
  • Take an inventory of the house with your parents and siblings. Decide what will go with your parents and what will stay behind. Determine what items will be given to family members, donated to charity, or sold through a yard sale or on the internet.
  • Prepare for moving day. Leave plenty of time to pack. Order the boxes necessary for the move well in advance and have them delivered at least one week before the move. Pack the least used rooms first, making sure to label each box with its contents and destination at the new home. Once those rooms are complete, pack up the rest of the rooms, making sure to separate the items your parents will need on a daily basis. Put those items in suitcases that are easily accessible throughout the move.
  • Let your parents say goodbye. If your parents have lived in their house for several years, it is natural for them to have a sense of loss when they move, especially if they’re moving to a place that won’t truly feel like home, such as a nursing home or assisted living facility. Give them time to say goodbye to this chapter of their life and embrace the new.
  • Relieve Stress. Try to help your parents ease into their new place by unpacking as much as you can before they arrive. Not only is this a great housewarming gift, but it allows them to start their new life on a happy note.
  • Preserve the familiar. To the extent possible, try to recreate the parts of your parents’ old home that they loved in their new place. Set up their bedroom in the same way or put their well-loved armchair next to a window with a view.

There are so many issues to consider when moving a parent – hopefully this list provides a good starting point!

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Chili Cook-off to be Held at 868 Estate Vineyards

colorful, hanging pepper assortment

It’s a chili day!  Join the members of the 868 Estate Vineyards for a day filled with the hottest and spiciest Virginia has to offer.  This chili cook-off and tasting is available for all to enjoy.

On Saturday, November 2, everyone is welcome to come and witness the fun, fiery event at the 868 Estate Vineyards located at 14001 Harpers Ferry Rd.  Staff members as well as members of the Wine Clubs will battle against each other in the ultimate cook-off.  The chilies are all lined up for this fantastic 3-hour special.  Witness who will be the next Chili Champ of 868!

The chili cook-off will begin at 1 pm and end at 4 pm. Celebrity judging will start at 3 pm.

Along with the exciting chili cook-off, other activities include live music entertainment and games.


Dorri Scott

Loudoun Woman Magazine

School is Back! Time to Review the Three R’s

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 8.28.41 AMNo, we’re not talking about reading, writing and arithmetic. Rather, we want to focus on the three R’s of green living: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Most of us are already familiar with the last R, recycling, which is the reprocessing of items that would otherwise be thrown away to create a new product. By recycling, we conserve natural resources, save energy and prevent pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials. Recycling also reduces waste sent to landfills and incinerators, which decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

So, why should we do more than just recycle? Because if you think in terms of ranking the three R’s, recycling comes in last. Why? Simply because the best way to reduce waste is not to create it in the first place. Even recycled items require materials and energy to create the new product, which must be transported to wherever it will ultimately be sold. thus, even though there are definite benefits to recycling, the best way to preserve our natural resources are to reduce and reuse.

Reuse is very similar to recycle – you reuse an item when you use it again instead of throwing it out, recycling it, or otherwise disposing of it. You can apply the reusing concept when you’re at the store by purchasing durable, rather than disposable, goods (ignore the paper napkins and buy cloth). You could also try buying and selling items at your local consignment shops or using Lend A Box’s environmentally friendly plastic boxes instead of cardboard for your next move or remodel. Finally, you can donate to your local charity, school, church or nonprofit. They’ll appreciate the help and you’ll get a tax deduction!

But you shouldn’t stop at recycle and reuse because the big winner of the three Green R’s is reduce. While recycling and reusing goods you’ve already purchased is important, the most effective way to reduce your environmental impact is to reduce the amount of goods you buy in the first place. For instance, you can make an impact by drinking purified tap water from a cup or an aluminum water bottle instead of purchasing bottled water. Roughly 50 billion water bottles are thrown away each year. Those water bottles required about 50 million gallons of oil to produce and, although they are recyclable, only about 40% are actually recycled! You can also reduce by purchasing items that have less packaging (like the bulk items at Costco or Sam’s Club), less packaging and less raw is materials needed to make and sell the product.

As you can see, there are some really easy ways to make a big impact. Implementing a few of these tips will go a long way toward making sure we have a planet our kids can love in the future.

About Us

Janice Gambaccini and Stephanie Zimmermann built Lend A Box around the three Rs: Lend A Box reduces the amount of cardboard used in the moving industry by delivering 100% recyclable plastic boxes to clients in Northern Virginia and DC before they move. Once the move is complete, Lend A Box picks the boxes up, clean and sanitize them, and reuses them hundreds of times before making them into new boxes. Our clients love the environmental benefits and convenience of our service and we love keeping cardboard out of the landfills!

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