Two Important Tips About Using Amazon You Probably Never Knew and More About How Amazon Participates in Charitable Giving and How You Can Easily Too, Especially With Spring Cleaning Season Upon Us

As an Amazon shopper, I know the negative vibe.  If you shop Amazon consistently, you are putting small businesses out of business. I comfort myself my knowing I do shop small businesses and find much I buy on Etsy.  When I need something easy to find (because stores no longer stock as they used to) and when I am crunched for time, Amazon is my go to place.  Yes, I do use google and to comparison shop price, explore discounts, and availability of greater selection.  I cannot help myself doing both.

As much as I use Amazon, I was surprised to hear of tips that make it easier for me to use the website and make me feel better about putting Amazon near the top of my list as resources.


Amazon bags are made to be turned inside out to use for returns.  The bags, when turned inside out, even have a peel and seal strip on the inside to make the returns easy.  I just recently learned that, which became the reason to write this blog post, but there is more.


What do you do with the boxes that Amazon ships in rather than discard them in the trash?  See Amazon’s website, GIVE BACK BOX

When I went on the website, it directed me to send an email to information!  I did and was told to please use this link


Please donate only new items or in good condition.

– no glass

– no used underwear, socks etc

– no used bedding

– no books

– no electronics ( no toasters, coffee makers, printers etc please).

You do not have to even use an empty Amazon box!  Grab another box which you may have lying around the house, the attic or basement, or in the garage.

Print a FREE SHIPPING LABEL to donate your unwanted items. “Download shipping label from our website and attach to the box and drop off the box either at the Fedex, Post Office or at any UPS drop off location (based on label ). You can also arrange for USPS to have this picked up from your home. Simply request a pick up when you download the shipping label and leave the box outside for USPS to pick up.” If you don’t have a printer or can’t print a shipping label, send Amazon an email with your address and Amazon will email you label code.

“Give Back Box® provides vendor services to retailers and charities, giving each and every cardboard box a second life to help people in need. So it is also a ‘green’ solution! Reuse your online shipping boxes in which you received your purchases, or any other cardboard box you may have, to donate your unwanted household items: such as gently used clothing, shoes etc., to make a major difference in the life of another person.”

Clean your closets and cupboards, help save the environment and help others with Amazon.  It is spring cleaning time after all.  Amazon says pack as much as you can and you can download as many shipping labels you want. All they ask is that you “do not include any liquids, fragile, hazardous or volatile items, or ammunition in the boxes.”  Here is a link that provides information. If you have further questions, here is the link to their FAQ.

You can even specify a specific charity or a specific category of charities to which to donate at a nominal cost if you have a preference at this link.  I expect that the cost is to cover the processing for specific charities and if you have a preference, or the box contains specific items for a specific category, like children in need or clothes, shoes and new blankets only to Ukranian refugees, you might consider this option.


AN ASIDE. For ten years, Amazon had AMAZON SMILE, to make it easier for customers to support their favorite charities, but are closing it to focus its philanthropic giving to programs with greater impact. 

From their website:

“To help charities that have been a part of the AmazonSmile program with this transition, we will be providing them with a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program, and they will also be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes. Once AmazonSmile closes, charities will still be able to seek support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists.

As a company, we will continue supporting a wide range of other programs that help thousands of charities and communities across the U.S. For instance:

Housing Equity Fund: We’re investing $2 billion to build and preserve affordable housing in our hometown communities. In just two years, we’ve provided funding to create more than 14,000 affordable homes—and we expect to build at least 6,000 more in the coming months. These units will host more than 18,000 moderate- to low-income families, many of them with children. In one year alone, our investments have been able to increase the affordable housing stock in communities like Bellevue, Washington and Arlington, Virginia by at least 20%.       

Amazon Future Engineer: We’ve funded computer science curriculum for more than 600,000 students across over 5,000 schools—all in undeserved communities. We have plans to reach an additional 1 million students this year. We’ve also provided immediate assistance to 55,000 students in our hometown communities by giving them warm clothes for the winter, food, and school supplies.

Community Delivery Program: We’ve partnered with food banks in 35 U.S. cities to deliver more than 23 million meals, using our logistics infrastructure to help families in need access healthy food—and we plan to deliver 12 million more meals this year alone. In addition to our delivery services, we’ve also donated 30 million meals in communities across the country.

Amazon Disaster Relief: We’re using our logistics capabilities, inventory, and cloud technology to provide fast aid to communities affected by natural disasters. For example, we’ve created a Disaster Relief Hub in Atlanta with more than 1 million relief items ready for deployment, our Disaster Relief team has responded to more than 95 natural disasters, and we’ve donated more than 20 million relief products to nonprofits assisting communities on the ground.

Community giving: We support hundreds of local nonprofits doing meaningful work in cities where our employees and their families live. For example, each year we donate hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations working to build stronger communities, from youth sport leagues, to local community colleges, to shelters for families experiencing homelessness.”

And there is much more to see about what Amazon does to help our communities and the world at this link.

Next time I click on Amazon to purchase, I will be thinking about the positive vibe I get from shopping at Amazon, and the positive vibe from using any boxes to donate unwanted items for use by those in need, all the while, helping the environment too.



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