Finding new uses for used shipping containers is a great way to ensure that the raw materials used to manufacture them doesn’t go to waste. But did you know that even before your repurpose a used shipping container as a shed, storm shelter or temporary storage, they’ve already helped the environment?
Container shipping is one of the most environmentally friendly methods of transporting goods. Containerization has reduced the amount of energy consumed by loading and unloading goods, as well as transporting them. Because so many goods can be loaded in containers, shipped, and then transferred to trains or large trucks when they arrive, shipping efficiency has greatly increased, reducing overall carbon emissions, energy consumption and other environmental ills.
Shipping containers are typically made of corrugated steel – thousands of pounds of it. Letting this metal sit idle or consigning it to a landfill is a waste of good raw materials. Repurposing containers for other uses helps ensure these materials aren’t wasted and reduces the need to manufacture more, thus reducing pollution.
In recent years, a variety of ingenious uses have been found for shipping containers. Architects have designed houses, dorms and office buildings from used containers. Emergency management agencies use them as portable, temporary office space. Homeowners can use them to form the structure of storm shelters. The possibilities with these highly versatile structures are nearly endless, as are the environmental benefits of finding a use for them once their ocean-going days are done.