Give new life to that pile of cardboard boxes. 

Amazon Packages
Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg Finance/Getty Images

This article originally appeared on Real Simple

Any last-minute shopper is likely well acquainted with the Amazon cardboard box. It arrives when you need it, it saves you from crazy checkout lines at the mall, and, well, it's made out of cardboard.

To encourage customers to reuse their cardboard boxes and reduce the company's environmental impact, Amazon is participating in Give Back Box, a free shipping program that re-purposes the box to ship donations to Goodwill.

Here's how it works: after a customer receives their package and unpacks the merchandise, they have the option to fill it with any clothing and household items (excluding electronics) that they want to donate to Goodwill. The customer then prints a label from (with the option to receive a tax deduction receipt), sticks it on the box, and drops it off at the post office. Alternatively, they can choose to have it picked up at their house. It then gets delivered via UPS or USPS to the nearest Goodwill.

Though this is the first year that Amazon has partnered with Give Back Box, the program isn't new (and you don't need to use an Amazon box to participate). It launched in 2012 as a way to provide both a convenient way to donate used household items, as well as give a second life to cardboard boxes.

Interested in learning more about recycling? Check out our comprehensive guide to recycling and reusing just about anything.