AUGUST 18 QUESTIONS WITH JOSH COHEN
1. What is your name?
2. What is your occupation?
Founder, CEO of the Junkluggers, Luggers Moving, Second Chance Upcycling Centers
3. What was your favorite green ( Eco ) memory growing up?
I loved playing outside, so I helped an elderly neighbor clean up 5 acres of sticks for $5 because even though it was work, it allowed me the opportunity to be outdoors.
4. What did you do before Junkluggers?
I started working when I was 21yrs old, which was right after college but had 2 short jobs as an intern for a commercial real estate agent. But I actually started Junkluggers during college.
5. How is Junkluggers increasing environmental awareness?
Although there’s a lot of potentials to do more than what we’ve started, in general, the original idea was to provide an alternative to using dumpsters.
6. What are the most rewarding and challenging parts of your job?
Building a company with a team of people all working towards the same goals, and having fun doing it is very rewarding. Just as importantly, I love working in a business that has a greater purpose behind it. Our mission is to enhance lives, the community and the environment by donating, recycling, upcycling, and supporting local charities. Being able to directly impact local environments and communities every day, on a growing scale, is very rewarding.
As rewarding as it is building a team, as we have scaled and now have 70 people at our home office and over 250 throughout the country, it can be challenging to maintain that same spirit and culture. That being said, I always love a good challenge 🙂
7. What is one environmental change you vow to make this year?
We started a recycling and composting program at our home office. Not only is this preventing tons of stuff from going into landfills, it is also educating 70 people who can then go out and educate others in their sphere.
Additionally – we started both a mattress recycling program and an e-waste (electronic waste) recycling program this year, ensuring more of those types of items are properly re-used and recycled and getting us further towards our mission of keeping 100% of items out of landfills by 2025.
8. Can you tell us what inspire you to start Junkluggers?
I was studying abroad in Australia when a friend mentioned that he made $100 hauling away his neighbor’s refrigerator. $100 seemed like A LOT of money to me, and I knew that was the kind of thing I could do. I was also always passionate about the environment and started thinking about how a lot of that stuff people want to get rid of, isn’t trash, doesn’t need to go to the landfill. So a month later, I got home and immediately printed up flyers from my parent’s computer saying I was a 21-year-old college student looking to make some extra cash hauling away items for donation, recycling, and trash. I went door to door in my neighborhood handing them out, 100 homes a night (after my internship). I used my Mom’s Dodge Durango SUV to get started, and immediately fell in love with the business and saw that there could be something big here.
9. If there was one industry/product that you could make more eco-friendly, what would it be?
Furniture. There are so many resources that are currently available which would allow companies to refurbish furniture instead of creating something new.
10. What’s next for Junkluggers?
We are growing as a franchise model and bringing our eco-friendly mission-driven business throughout the country. We currently have 25 franchise partners and our goal is to have 100 franchise partners by the end of 2021 and truly be a nationwide company that offers both Junkluggers and Second Chance operations. We really want to change the industry and bring awareness to people about what happens to their stuff when they no longer want it.
11. What’s your favorite book?
Richard Branson – Screw it, Let’s do it! He’s my favorite entrepreneur of all time and I’ve read many of his books but this one stands out because that is very much how I like to live my life.
12. Where do you turn for your news?
I avoid the news as much as possible. There’s so much negativity out there in the world, I just like to focus on work and spend time with my family.
13. Where on the green scale do you fall?
I’m very green. I recycle everything I possibly can both at home in the office. In fact, we’ve educated the entire office on how to properly recycle the items here in the office which helps reinforce my efforts to make a better environment and community, so I think I rank pretty high on the green scale.
14. Do you lead a vegan lifestyle?
I don’t. Although my wife is already there, I think I’m getting closer to it. I’ve noticed as I’m getting older, I’m becoming more and more aware of my health and living a healthy lifestyle, so I honestly think it won’t be long before I make that transition.
15. Who would you want to have a conversation with past or present?
I’m inspired by great leaders and entrepreneurs and hope that one day I’ll be in the same circle. But honestly, I have too many to name.
16. What is a small environmental change you think we all can do to make a difference?
Basically, no one is recycling. Only 9% of recyclable materials are actually being recycled in the US, so I think we should start there. Composting could be the 1stplace to start. Since I’ve begun composting I realize there’s really very little that needs to be thrown away.
17. How does Junkluggers positively impact the environment?
As previously mentioned, we keep tons of stuff out of landfills.
18. What do you want your personal legacy to be?
I’m really proud of what we’re building. From jobs, business owners and bringing the community together, coupled with leaving the world a better place, I think what I’ve started with my company would be a great legacy to leave behind. Because at the end of the day, everyone would be working together to improve our environment; the place we all call home.