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An Update: Fundraiser and 2023 Direction

An Update on Circlepack. Hi friends. It’s due time for an update. In April, the shredding machines broke. They broke because, as an operator, I wasn’t aware of the oil needs of the machines. The manufacturer has faced such long supply chain delays that I’m still waiting on a part to be made. In May, Circlepack collaborated with our longtime partner, Ma’ona Community Gardens, to launch a fundraiser with the intent of distributing machines to several sites around the island. So, communities across the island could access shredding services and use more shredded cardboard. It’s now September. Thanks to you, our fundraiser has raised just over $3,300. It’ll take about $5,000 to buy two machines. Thanks to you, the momentum of our project has convinced a larger private donor to cut a check. We’re waiting on this donation to arrive and are planning to conclude the fundraiser. The plan is to purchase two machines for our organizations in South Kona. That cluster includes Ma’ona Community Gardens, Kealakehe Elementary School and Haleki’i Market. The people who represent these places have been our most consistent supporters and account for over 85% of all the cardboard shredded during Circlepack’s lifetime. They deserve it. It's now September and it’s time to share something about Circlepack. It was never designed to be a long-term business. It started as a test, a test to see if it was even feasible to produce packaging supplies for local e-commerce businesses. This test rapidly took a left turn, a great left turn, to help communities adapt everyday materials for the benefit of themselves and the soil we rely on. In the 2 years that Circlepack has been running, it’s inspired people in Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu and even Los Angeles to adopt Community Shred Day programs for themselves. This is the greatest measure of success. Coming in close behind that, we have been able to donate thousands of pounds to farmers and gardeners in Hawai’i, has kept me from becoming a broke and destitute do-gooder, and helped change the narrative about recycling and what our communities can do for themselves. This is work I intended to continue, especially in regards to the connection between our waste and our food. However, for the time being, Circlepack will be paused. While it’s future is uncertain, I can confidently say that the work will not go to waste and it will find an evolution. I’ll keep you updated on what happens next. As for myself, I’ve been working on distilling the lessons from the last 2 years and seeing what's next.

Thanks for all your help, sweat and cardboard.

Evan Lam

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