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Recycle 101: 10 Ways in Reusing A Shipping Container

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Shipping container use has dramatically evolved over the years. Thanks to the expertise of architects, designers, and engineers, people have discovered innovative ways of using them outside the purpose of delivery. Nowadays, you can see different kinds of shipping containers being used to improve the functionality, aesthetic design, and elements of houses, offices, and other types of structures.

If you have some old containers locked up in your warehouse, don’t just let them sit around and gather dust. Other than selling your unit, you can make the most out of your investment just by refurbishing and repurposing it. To get you started, here are some ways you can reuse a shipping container.

1. Eco-Friendly House

Shipping containers have found its way to the blueprints of modern homes. By using a recycled or unused shipping container as your home, you can significantly reduce your impact on the environment, lower your construction expenses, and increase your home’s overall appeal.

If you want to take steps towards a greener way of life, you should definitely build an eco-friendly house.

2. Indoor Garden

If wildlife is abundant around your area, a shipping container is a perfect place to grow a garden. By placing windows on all sides of your box, you can exposure your greenery to sunlight and allow them to achieve maximum growth. It’s also very easy to maintain, and will effectively protect all your plants from being eaten by any animal.

3. Pool

For those who have always wanted a pool in their dream home, a shipping container can give you all that and more. Thanks to its dimensions, any regular, rectangle-shaped container can be used for sustainable pool design.

Its length and depth allow you to swim laps, or you can also turn it into a sauna by adding a heater.  Since you don’t need to dig and buy other materials, you’ll save a lot of money, and even make your pool mobile.

4. Playground

A shipping container can make your kids really happy. Instead of keeping their eyes glued to gadgets, you can keep them entertained by turning the box you have into a playground. Buy some playground equipment and add your personal touches to make it a perfect location for parties and sleepovers that may come in the future, as well.

Once they grow up, you can sell or donate their toys and easily repurpose your container into a movie or game room.

5. Workspace

With a few tweaks, you can personalize your old shipping container into your own workshop. This is especially useful for people who are working from home, as your materials, equipment, and projects may not be able to fit within the limited space inside your garage or living room.

Regardless of what your job may be, a container can give you all the freedom and space you need to stay focused on your tasks.

6. Hotels

Looking for ways to make your container work for you? You should consider making a hotel! Since containers can be easily divided and stacked on top of each other, you can create multiple rooms across multiple levels. Instead of spending a ton of money on building materials, opting for containers will let you build a hotel without breaking the bank.

With the help of an interior designer and other experts, you’ll be able to add the necessary elements to switch up your hotel’s ambiance. Looking for some inspiration? Here are some of the best shipping container hotels from across the globe.

7. Mobile Hospitals

If you’re operating under the healthcare industry, one way you can make your services available is to go to your patients. Containers are spacious enough to fit dozens of people and equipment, making them an excellent choice for a mobile clinic. In case you need to settle in an area for an extended period of time, your container hospital can be affixed to the location you want.

8. Pop-Up Store

More and more businesses are opting to set up shop in a container. Since it’s durable, flexible, and mobile, brand owners and entrepreneurs are also allowed to go where their customers are located.

Combined with the right design elements, investing in one is an ideal choice for business owners—especially of online stores—who tend to travel and participate in special events, weekend bazaars, and seasonal promotions. If you’re planning to get one, take a look at these well designed pop-up stores for some ideas.

9. Restaurant

Restaurant owners have decided to create their establishments out of shipping containers. Now that design and experience plays a significant role in the modern diner’s satisfaction, using one can help you stand out from other competitors. 

As you keep your branding in mind, you can play around with the container’s shape and size to make it more attractive. You can also add the necessary elements to give your kitchen staff and customers maximum comfort. Whether you plan to stay in one place or go mobile as a food truck, getting one will be one of your best purchases.

Check out these restaurants that were built from containers.

10. Portable Restroom

Are you planning an event in an open area? Instead of spending your hard-earned money on portable potties that can get easily damaged and disposed of, investing in a portable restroom will prove to be the more valuable purchase.

These containers can fit in multiple urinals, toilets, and showers, and can connect directly to a sewage line. All of that, and they’re affordable, convenient, and a lot easier to clean.

Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle

With the climate crisis and other environmental issues at hand, people from across the globe need to find ways to lessen the waste they produce. Research shows that there are approximately 11 million unused shipping containers from around the world.

This statistic may be alarming at first glance, but thanks to innovations in the ways it is used, people now have more opportunities to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. If you’re building a structure of any sort, you should definitely consider eco-friendly shopping and go for shipping containers.

Thanks to its mobility and capability to transform, you can use it in a variety of ways and repurpose them whenever you please.  This won’t only lessen your impact on the environment, but it will also give you more financial flexibility and comfort in the long run. 


Author’s Bio: Thomas Gregory Peterson is not only a consultant, distribution and logistics manager but also a writer and contributor to various business & logistic blogs. Some of the blogs that he regularly writes are for BSL Containers.  
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