PhotoHoliday shoppers spent a staggering $598 billion in 2017, and many of those dollars went to online retailers like Amazon.

Consumers who may be wondering what to do with all those empty boxes left over from the holiday shopping season have an environmentally-friendly and charitable option.

Give Back Box, a charity sponsored by Amazon and other major retailers, aims to make it easy for consumers to donate their old clothing, household items, and accessories in recycled boxes affixed with a free shipping label.

How it works

To use Give Back Box, consumers simply fill up an unused box (an empty Amazon box or any shippable box) with donations, then print out a pre-paid label on the Give Back Box site.

From there, the box will be picked up and sent to those in need. Donations go directly to the nearest participating charitable organization and will help support employment placement, job training, and other community-based services. Donating through Give Back Box also helps divert cardboard from landfills.

“Give Back Box is a great idea on so many levels,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, in a statement.

“By reusing boxes, you’re protecting the environment; by giving to Goodwill, you’re helping to provide jobs and skills training in your own community; and by donating your stuff to a good cause, you’ll feel better about clearing out unwanted items from your home,” he said.

Guidelines

Because charities like Goodwill and the Salvation Army pay for the shipping, they ask that boxes are filled to the brim when shipped. Consumers are also asked to donate only items that are of good quality so that organizations can sell them for a profit.

Give Back Box asks that consumers not send electronics, liquids, ammunition, or anything fragile or hazardous.

You can drop a labeled box at any U.S. Post Office or UPS location or schedule a USPS pickup. You can even get a tax receipt if you register with Give Back Box.

While Amazon is the largest retailer taking part in the Give Back Box program, it's not the only one. Newegg, Overstock, Loft, Rei Co-op, Levi's, Asics, and Ann Taylor are among participating retailers.


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