Turn Your Trash Into Good

Boxes for Goodwill

Turn your trash into good.

New Year, new plan for life, right? Every year it seems we have the best of intentions and then just like the shiny wrapping paper, it all ends up in the trash. If your house is like mine, after the holidays there are plenty of boxes waiting to be crushed for the recycle bin. Before you slam down the crushing blow, use the boxes to declutter and do good. Your trash has the power to made lives better for your neighbors.

Straight from the “Someone was thinking” department comes a joint venture between Goodwill Industries and 20 retailers, the GiveBackBox.com program. The program is simple, clean out your closets, junk drawers and donations corners. Place the items in a study box, print out a label and viola you are done. You can use any box sturdy enough to survive shipping – remember this is winter time. Print off a free label from the site because no postage necessary and drop off at your local post office.

If you are busy or the roads are dangerous, the US Postal Service will pick up your stuff. Thanks to online ordering (where your box probably originated from) you can also schedule a pick up. There is no limit or time frame, so no excuses for boxes hanging around. Simply put, get moving. Your trash is waiting for a new life.

There are a few stipulations, like everything in life. Only ship items that can be legally shipped and items Goodwill could sell. Basically, no liquids, hazardous materials or recalled items. A big yes to clothes, out grown toys and household items. Just make sure they are packed well to survive the transit.

The program started in Chicago by Monika Wiela, who saw a need to make giving to charity easier. The idea was inspired by a failed attempt to donate shoes to a homeless man. She discovered an estimated 11 million tons of textiles end up in U.S. landfills every year. Added to the fact online shopping is the go-to method for buying, leaves 4 million tons of corrugated boxes in the landfill each year. This program was her solution. Goodwill uses the revenue from the sale of donations to provide employment placement, job training, education and mentoring. Last year, more than 2 million people worked to build their career and financial future by working with a Goodwill team members (Goodwill is involved in one out of every 200 hires in the United States).

See how your trash can help a fellow neighbor? That is some powerful trash

Get going. Your boxes are waiting to be picked up.

Sharon, The Mayor