By Zak Stone
People are lazy. So lazy, in fact, many can't be bothered to donate their unwanted possessions to a thrift store or sell them online. Instead, they kick perfectly good stuff--whether it's clothes or appliances--to the curb.
And it's at the curb where socially-minded Dutch designer Simon Akkaya saw an opportunity to intervene and help useable goods find a second home. His recent design, the Goedzak, is a trash bag that signals to others that the contents within aren't actually trash.
Akkaya explains the thought that went into what, at first glance, is a plastic bag with a yellow stripe.
The transparent part is to accommodate the people uncomfortable reaching down and 'going through the garbage' (to some it might feel that way). So even these people can sneak a peek and take out something when no-one is looking.
Yellow is used to make the bag stand out "but not just for people to notice that there is a bag with stuff in it that might still be of use to them," but also to highlight an act that indicates a more thoughtful relationship with stuff, what Akkaya calls "showcasing the altruistic (and sustainable) act on the streets."
While the design studio of Akkaya and his partner Maarten Heijltjes couldn't find a municipality to partner with around the Goedzak, they've now found a second-hand-store franchise to run a pilot. "They will pick up the bags and put the usable goods in their stores. The rest is sorted and/or recycled," says Akkaya. A victory for sustainably minded lazy folk, for whom recycling their goods will be as easy as taking out the trash.
Copyright 2013 by Fast Company. Reprinted with permission.