What if we all got a five-finger discount?

I am a little late to the party on this story (forgive me as I live thousands of kilometers away).  My friend @Jerome_L recently tweeted me this fascinating article from the New York Times.  Apparently in an empty lot in Brooklyn sits the Brooklyn Free Store.  True to its name, this tented space offers all kinds of objects for free.  Organized by a loose collective inspired by the Diggers, a 17th century utopian movement, as well as by modern ecology, the Free Store’s slogan is “Take what you want. Share what you think others may enjoy (not limited to material items).”

In addition to 17th century utopists, the Free Store reminded me of the Freecycle movement, whose aim is to keep material goods out of landfills.  These movements are very interesting and are great way to save money or to get rid of something, guilt-free.  Let’s hope we see more of these kinds of efforts.

  1. corkescrews

    I’m a little bothered by “five-finger discount” in the title as it means “shoplifting”, to steal something from a store. Clever turn of phrase which only connects to the concept in that you get the item for free, but in no way conveys the idealistic spirit of sharing the item freely: a gift to whomever may find it more useful.

    Otherwise this a pretty cool concept. Reminds me of when I had to move to a different flat and I ended up giving away a lot of my stuff to friends who just came over to help and I’d go, you want this? that? Take it!

    And here’s thought:

    Give Your Stuff Away Day on September 25, 2010
    — a great way to get rid of some of your unwanted household items, save landfill space, and help others. A win-win situation. Simply bring your unwanted items to the curb. http://giveyourstuffaway.com/


  2. Nicholas Bordas

    Hmm… I see your point, I was hesitant to use “five-finger discount” in the title but I thought that it was pretty catchy and as soon one started reading the article, it would be pretty clear that stealing was not part of the deal at the Free Store. Thanks for your criticism though, I appreciate it.

    I really love the idea behind “Give your Stuff Away Day” and September 25th is a good time for such an event: not too cold or rainy, and around the same time that students are moving into new lodgings. Thanks so much for the link!

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