Amazon pays shipping on Goodwill donations packaged in e-retailer's boxes

Dive Brief:

  • Amazon is working with shipping platform Give Back Box to offer free shipping on donations to Goodwill that consumers package up in their own used, empty Amazon boxes, GeekWire reports.

  • After shoppers receive deliveries from Amazon, they can refill the box with items to donate to Goodwill. They can then print a label from the Give Back Box website, drop off the package at a post office or arrange pickup from their mail carrier. The postal service will deliver the boxes to the nearest Goodwill location participating in the Give Back Box program.

  • Give Back Box has partnered with several other retailers since 2012, including Overstock, Ann Taylor, New Egg, eBags, Bonobos and REI. The service allows any box to be used for shipping to Goodwill: Amazon ia paying shipping specifically on donations contained in used Amazon boxes.

Dive Insight:

As I write this, my family has a recycling bin outside our garage full to the brim with broken-down cardboard boxes, while inside the garage, there is a Jenga-like tower of no less than nine or 10 empty Amazon boxes, now free of the Christmas presents they contained when they arrived. Amazon and Give Back Box are making a very persuasive argument for what should be done with them next.

This is perfectly-timed announcement for a lot of people now busy unpacking delivery boxes to wrap the presents therein, and watching empty boxes pile up around their houses. Many of us are fortunate enough to have a day or two off in the week ahead, and what could make a nicer post-holiday activity than deciding amid your new gifts what older household items and clothing to donate to Goodwill? It's a great chance to teach the kids again about the spirit of giving because you probably won't have their full attention when you try to explain it while they are madly shredding wrapping paper on Christmas morning.

A lot of retailers are doing their part in terms of philanthropy, as the growth of Giving Tuesday in recent years has demonstrated. Others are investing in their own sustainability efforts. But it's especially nice to see Amazon, whose deliveries generate a huge amount of cardboard, promote a second use of that cardboard, as well as encourage donations to Goodwill.

This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the 2016 holiday shopping season. You can browse our holiday page for more stories. 

Filed Under: Technology Logistics Holidays
Top image credit: Flickr; Mike Seyfang