This is not a post on how I shared a 1980's video called "My Beautiful Laundrette", but about my latest local sharing experiment. I started dropping off my old magazines at the local laundrette, so that neighbors could read them instead of getting hypnotised by their spining laundry. Now it's turning into the local unofficial freebox drop off!
Sharing is great, but it is not always easy
Yes, I love Freecycle (and recupe.net in France), Craig's list, Neighborgoods.net, donating to charity, etc. But it can be a hassle for small recurrent items. One can spend a lot time registering the good, sorting the requests, replying and finally meeting up with the person.
The Curbside FreeBox Solution
Curbside FreeBoxes are generally a grand solution. But in rainy Paris, it is not the most convenient. It actually turned out to be a counterproductive solution when the garbage men threw the whole box into their dump truck before anyone could look through it.
The local laudrette experiment
After the dump truck episode, I started an experiment at my local laundrette.
Recyclng is good. Reusing and sharing are better.
I started dropping my magazines off. Since I often drop off green magazines, it is a discrete way to open people's minds to new subjects...yes, I am devious...
Then, I started to drop off books I no longer wanted and hadn't a clue who might want them.
A few months later, I realised someone else had started leaving books as well. I was no longer alone: I had anonymous "shareable" friends.
I pushed the experiment one step further and started dropping off my FreeBox at the laudrette (photo below). It was emptied in a few hours.
- My freebox, no longer gets drenched or dumped by the garbage people;
- People can search through it taking their time in the laudrette, instead of getting that scavenger guilty feeling in the middle of the street;
- Laundrettes are usually very boring and solitary places even though we all share the same machines... maybe freeboxes might help spice them up and start connecting people;
- Anyone can start a "shareable laundrette" : there are laundrettes all over the world, they are usally open 7/7, it takes zero investment, and it simplifies donating stuff in rainy, snowy, windy, trashed cities!
Who's up for turning their Laundrette into a Shareable one?
P.s. My next step is to go talk to the owner and see if he would agree to an official freebox in his laundrette and that I put a poster explaining what a freebox is.
Photos: Shabnam, Paris 2011
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