Tuesday, January 15, 2013

De goed zak

Apparently, clear bags with a bright yellow banner on them have won a design award in the Netherlands. These bags allow people to see what's inside, so you can use them for useful items that you no longer want. Then other people can see what's inside, and take it.

Here in Portland, we skip the superfluous bag, and just call this a free box. Most of the time, there is not even a box involved, just a pile of stuff. It seems to me that most of the items you can find in a typical free box would look worse, not better, in a little window bag. It would make them less enticing.

These are the kind of things you find in free boxes here:

Old clothes. (My old housemate told me that it was a good place to find rags. Grab free box T-shirts, separate the backs from the front, and scrub away.)

Crates. In one case, the crate WAS the box (all of it. The crate was empty), and it was free. Actually I walked by a woman as she walked a random crate down to the corner. She set it down, looked at me as I walked by, and said, "That's free, if you want it." Because if you are youngish and live in Portland (yes, I do look like a hipster), you are probably in the market for a free crate. I could have bungeed it onto my bicycle.

Books. Especially things like textbooks and Cliff's Notes. Although I did find a book on Dutch painting once. I was on a jog. I jogged the rest of the way home a book on Dutch painting in my hands.

Broken chairs, questionable CDs, and other things that people probably don't want. Piles of wood.

I can't imagine something like "de goed zak" ever catching on here. I know people who don't even want to buy trash bags because of the environment, etc. The whole point of the corner free box is to dispose of your things in a way that is easy (lazy) and cost-free. I was about to say, "it's a nice idea, though" - but I don't actually believe that, so never mind.

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