File this away in “Things I’ve Been Meaning To Do But Haven’t Yet”: Give Back Box.
I try not to buy a lot of things online—both for environmental and clutter-phobe reasons. But when I do, now I can give the corrugated box a new life by filling it with things I want to donate, printing and slapping on a postage-paid shipping label and sending it off to a charity organization who could use it.
When I first heard about Give Back Box, I thought it was a special box you had to request from Amazon (or REI or wherever you ordered). And Ward knows, there’s about zero chances of me remembering to do that. But it turns out, you can use any ol’ cardboard box you have lying around the house. Here’s how it works.
According to the Give Back website, not only are the boxes reused, but they’re recycled too. Donating with Give Back Box helps charities carry out their missions and provides more options for people who like to buy used (or have to because of economic reasons). And it makes de-cluttering and donating convenient and hassle-free!
Next time I get a cardboard box, I’m going to set it in the corner and little by little, fill it with things I’m no longer using. (And if a couple of my husband’s 8 billion tools scattered randomly throughout the house happen to fall in said box, so be it.) Wanna try it too?
Wanna know what’s cool about the library? EVERYTHING.
When Amazon was still fresh, I loved to order new books. The anticipation of the latest bestseller. Then, once it arrived, the smell! The crisp pages! But buying a ton of books is not going to help our planet friend at all. Books also take up space, and even the unremarkable ones are hard to part with.
If you’re a bookworm and want to be more green (or KonMari) your local library’s the way to go. Here’s why*:
Online Catalog/Book Reserve – Whenever I hear about a good book from a friend or Entertainment Weekly magazine, I just plug the name into our library’s online catalog and either place a hold on it or put on my “For Later Shelf” if I’m not ready to read it. A few days, weeks, or sometimes months later, depending on how in demand the book is, I get an email letting me know when it’s ready to be picked up from the branch by our house—it’s like a special little bookie surprise in my inbox! I’m almost embarrassed to admit how excited I get when that email comes. Sure, sometimes there’s a wait for a new or more popular book, but that just adds to the excitement when the email shows up. When it comes down to it, the local library makes reading pretty much any book ridiculously easy.
The Sheer Magnitude of Available Resources – You can find magazines, CDs, DVDs, internet access, not to mention some interesting programming like kids reading clubs, knitting groups, job search assistance, film clubs, and movie nights. When hulu failed us, my family checked out seasons 1-7 of Modern Family (love me some Phil Dunphy!). And I love seeing people who may not have a computer or internet access at home using the library computers to apply for jobs, do papers, etc. (however, I can do without the pervs checking out a monitor full of scantily clad ladies).
A Tidy(ish) Home – If I bought every book I wanted to read, not only would it be not the earth-friendliest thing to do, but I’d have stacks of stacks of books lying about. I hate accumulating stuff in our house. I love the fact that I can check out a book, read it, then get rid of that sucker right away. And if I’m not enjoying a book, I’m don’t feel bad about quitting it since I didn’t pay for it (directly; I know libraries are funded with our taxes).
So if you haven’t been to the library in a while, go see what you’re missing. I think you’ll see that today’s library is not the one you grew up with. Go get yourself a card. And if you read anything totally awesome, leave it in the comments.
* My county has the most awesome library system ever (Holla, Hennepin County!). It’s possible that yours doesn’t and all of these features will not be available. I’m sorry. : (