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The Smartest, Most Generous Thing to Do With an Old Amazon Box

Published On 12/23/2016 Published On 12/23/2016

After a hectic holiday, we probably all fall prey to one crushing problem: how to get rid of all the wrapping paper, trash, boxes, and other stuff you just don't want in your house. The trash is yours to deal with, but there's one really, really easy thing you can do to recycle your old delivery boxes and do some good for the world. Amazon has partnered with the nonprofit Goodwill Industries International to take your boxes off your hands.

How it works

1. Remove any lingering items from your Amazon delivery box -- or any other old delivery box you might have.

2. Fill the delivery box with your unwanted household items -- clothes, non-perishable food, etc. -- but no liquids, ammunition, or fragile or otherwise-hazardous items. And stuff it fully.

3. Print a free shipping label from GiveBackBox.com and stick it on the box and just wait for your USPS carrier to pick it up! (You can also just take the box to a local UPS store, and they'll do it all for you, if you don't have a printer.)

A special tip: Don't forget to ask for your tax-deductible receipt! It's a donation and is treated as such by the IRS, as it should be.

A word of caution: donate responsibly

This is absurdly easy, declutters your post-holiday home, recycles crap you were just going to chuck anyway, and takes all of five minutes. Still, don't take this lightly. Remember that Goodwill cannot accept items that have been recalled, banned, or do not meet safety standards. What's more, the donation of household items you no longer use is not a morally acceptable out for you to give someone moldy food or socks with holes in them and say you're doing a good deed.

This is an opportunity for you to do genuine good. Don't waste a nonprofit's time and money. Think before you pack.

YouTube/Goodwill

Eric Vilas-Boas is a writer and editor at Thrillist and thoroughly endorses useful donations that double as semi-selfish KonMari exercises. Follow him @e_vb_.

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