HOUSTON - Now that the holidays are ending, you're probably looking at a pile of empty cardboard boxes. And that's on top of empty boxes from all the pandemic online shopping you've been doing.
The Corrugated Board Packaging Market -- that's the fancy word for cardboard -- is expected to grow 8% a year through 2026.
People are pouring into recycling centers, cars crammed with cardboard.
As consumers have consumed online shopping through the pandemic and holidays, that brings more boxes.
The good news is that the University of Colorado Boulder says 70% of cardboard gets recycled.
The bad news is that leaves 30% in landfills. When cardboard breaks down, it produces methane, the greenhouse gas. But recycling one ton of cardboard uses 75% of the energy it takes to create new boxes, saving one barrel of oil.
Another way to recycle your empties is through GiveBackBox.com. Fill a box with household items you no longer need, clothing, toys, DVDs, up to 70 pounds.
"Go to GiveBackBox.com, print a shipping label, and you can mail a donation from the comfort of your home to a charity who needs donation at that moment," said Monika Wiela, founder of GiveBackBox.
That's right, at no cost to you. GiveBackBox will send them to one of 150 charities that it supports.
"We have over 150 different non-profits in the United States alone receiving donations from us," said Wiela.
Or you can choose the charity, and pay $15 for the shipping directly to the charity.
"You can search the categories and see who you want to support. But also we support the big ones where mostly you can donate clothes, shoes, and what you would normally go and drive through donate," said Wiela.
GiveBackBox partners with International Paper to recycle the boxes.
"So they take back all the boxes we receive, and they actually make new boxes out of the old boxes. So every single box is recycled," said Wiela.
GiveBackBox shipped 120,000 donated boxes in 2020. They're so busy, they are looking for more charities to send boxes to.
"Just go and help. It’s a really nice feeling when you do so," Wiela said.
The City of Houston offers several recycling centers:
About 24 Christmas Tree Recycling drop locations are also open and accepting Christmas trees until January 31, 2022.