Connect with us

Best of the Best

Here’s a Novel Use for That Mountain of Frame Boxes in Your Store Room

Don’t let that mountain of discarded frame boxes go to waste.




Here’s a Novel Use for That Mountain of Frame Boxes in Your Store Room

FEW RETAIL SECTORS can compare with optical for the sheer snazziness of the packaging. The flipside, of course, is reconciling that with your social and environmental conscience. It has become fashionable to set ambitious targets like “zero waste” and “100 percent customer recycling,” and having an eco-friendly image is good for business. But for a variety of reasons — patchwork laws, lack of infrastructure, competing technologies — the recycling industry is still frustratingly underdeveloped. As with most things in independent retail, sometimes you just have to come up with the ideas yourself. So, if your best-selling frame line comes in a box-within-a-box … within a box, check out this ingenious approach from Lynda Winter at Great Spectacles in Stockton, CA.  Hopefully, it’ll get your recycling ideas flowing before you sneak guiltily out to the dumpster tonight.


“We started saving frame boxes,” Winter recalls, “because we didn’t want to waste a good quality box.” A vague idea that something could be done with them started to take shape when customers began asking for the boxes. “Soon a retired educator asked to take the boxes to the Children’s Museum to use for projects.” As Winter jokingly puts it, a “reach-out recycle business” was born.

Here’s a Novel Use for That Mountain of Frame Boxes in Your Store RoomTHE EXECUTION

Leave it to a retired teacher to see classroom gold in a pile of small cardboard boxes. Winter soon realized that schools more than any other type of institution would be able to make the most immediate use of the boxes. “We save them for a variety of different teachers at many different schools around our area. We consistently collect them all year long, and once we have a bagful we reach out to our customers who are teachers. It’s first-come-first-serve, unless there has been a specific request.”

In one case, the kids at nearby Rainbow Elementary School had been assigned an engineering project. The children read a book about Italy and were challenged to build a Duomo. (That’s a kind of cathedral – we looked it up.) The building blocks for these architectural marvels were Winter’s trusty frame boxes. Ultimately, she’s just happy to see the boxes go to good use, and doesn’t make any requests of the teachers.



“This is a feel-good project for Great Spectacles; we enjoy giving to the community and expect nothing in return. We also enjoy seeing all the creativity that comes from these boxes.” It also sets a great example for the students themselves to see a business recycling its material in this way. “We have been doing this for over 10 years, and yes, we plan to continue,” she says.

Here’s a Novel Use for That Mountain of Frame Boxes in Your Store Room

Do It Yourself: Recycling Campaigns

1. TRASH TALK. Tell customers, staff and vendors about your activities and bolster your image as a responsible business.

2. ASK AROUND. All kinds of people may covet your castoffs. Places of worship, community centers and thrift stores accept donated items.

3. COLLECTION POINT.Set up a box-collection booth in or outside your store with images showing what becomes of donated items.


4. CIVIC MINDED. There are an estimated 10,000 municipal recycling programs in the U.S. See if your area has one.

5. GO GREEN. Why not take it even further? Go for fully green status; ask your utility company about an energy audit. Many offer these at no charge.

After years covering some of the farther flung corners of the world of business journalism, Heath has more recently focused on covering the efforts of independent eyecare professionals to negotiate a fast-changing industry landscape. Contact him at


Turn Patients Into Loyal Eyewear Shoppers

80% of patients are browsing eyewear online, are you influencing patients online before your competition? Join thousands of practices thriving with Optify, voted the #1 optical sales tool by EyeVote. Empower your opticians to save time, increase optical revenue, and maximize your EHR data and website with a seamless optical plug-in that keeps patients buying from YOU! Now through August 31st receive a $25 UberEats® gift card when you complete a 15 min demo. Book your demo here..

Promoted Headlines






Get the most important news and business ideas for eyecare professionals every weekday from INVISION.


Most Popular

Link partner: indobet autowin88 vegasslot77 mantra88 ligasedayu warungtoto login sbobet vegas4d indobet ingatbola88 ligaplay dewagg hoki368 qqnusa ligagg zeus138 bro138 bos88 ligaciputra