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Lifestyle

A better use for all those Amazon boxes: Cat condo, fort, mini golf windmill

As Amazon becomes more deeply integrated into our lives than ever, many of our readers have probably noticed something changing about their homes: They’re stacked to the brim with Amazon boxes!

Sure, we try to throw them away, but as deliveries keep coming in, the boxes just keep stacking up. This is especially true if you’re trying to avoid any cross-contamination from harmful particles. Tap or click here to see the best ways to sanitize your deliveries.

But Amazon is aware that people are struggling with what to do with the boxes infesting their homes, and now, it’s releasing brand new, environmentally friendly boxes with fun projects built right into them. If you scan the barcode on the side of the box, you’ll get instructions on how to turn that box into something brand new. What will you make out of yours?

Amazon wants you to recycle your boxes into robots, forts and cat condos

Amazon is taking a new approach to packaging as part of its latest sustainable goals initiative. In an announcement posted to the company’s blog, Amazon revealed a twofold campaign to reduce the number of materials it uses in boxes while urging subscribers to reuse their boxes in fun new ways.

One part of the program, Amazon Second Chance, provides detailed instructions for the best ways to recycle each kind of package the company offers. From envelopes to big brown boxes, you’ll find guidance on the proper waste bins to put everything in, as well as places you can trade and repair other items you no longer need.

The other, more fun part comes with the boxes themselves. Now, instead of the generic brown boxes with the signature smile on the side, you’ll get a fun illustration of a box being repurposed as something else. This includes miniature golf decorations, robot costumes, cat condos and box cars for kids to play pretend with.

Each new box will include a barcode that subscribers can scan with the Amazon app. Doing this will take you to Amazon’s blog, where you’ll find video tutorials for one of the fun projects you can make with your boxes.

With so many of us spending the summer indoors, crafting something new would be a fun distraction. After all, we’ve probably already burned through most of what Netflix is serving up by now. Tap or click here to see our favorite free Netflix alternatives.

Is all this new packaging really all that good for the environment?

As it turns out, yes it is. In fact, much of the cardboard we use here in the U.S. is already recycled — about 92% of it to be exact, according to the American Forest & Paper Association.

By reducing the volume of cardboard in each box, Amazon is able to spread this resource around more efficiently. And by encouraging users to recycle their boxes even further, we might be able to bring that percentage up even more in the next several years.

And based on Amazon’s history, we have no doubt the company will work quickly towards that goal. According to a statement made to USA Today by Kim Houchens, Amazon’s director of customer packaging experience, the company has already reduced the weight of its packaging by 33% over the years. This equals approximately 1.5 billion boxes in total.

Imagine how big of a box fort you could build with that.

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