eBay to give away 100K green reusable shipping boxes

Online retailer eBay will be giving away 100,000 boxes, beginning next month, that are made of recycled content and designed to be used repeatedly.CAPTIONCourtesy of eBay Green TeamOnline retailer eBay will soon be giving away 100,000 eco-friendly shipping boxes, each designed to be used repeatedly as it journeys from sellers to buyers and back.

The durable boxes, made with 100% recycled material and water-based inks, will start circulating next month. Sellers can place orders for the free boxes, available in three sizes, until supplies run out.

“By our calculation, if every box gets reused at least five times, we could protect nearly 4,000 trees, save 2.4 million gallons of water and conserve enough energy to power 49 homes for a year,” eBay Green Team says in its announcement. It adds:

We’ve also left plenty of space on the boxes for you – and everyone else who receives the box – to write a personal message to the next person in the chain, giving every box a life of its very own. The history of each box can also be tracked through a virtual community where buyers and sellers can connect online.

The eBay Box won the company’s annual Innovation Expo, which invites all employees to submit product and other idea. Prior to its unveiling, eBay had worked with the U.S. Postal Service to develop a Cradle to Cradle-certified shipping box, reports GreenBiz, noting eBay has also adopted a Bloom Energy fuel cell earlier this year and opened a green data center.