From Under the Bridge (Editorial) “Free Boxes”
It’s Portland, Oregon near the end of summer. We just went to IKEA to escape the heat, and bought so much great stuff! So much great, cheap, amazing, and beautiful stuff! Oh Christ, but what about all this other stuff we have?
This is just, just–junk…wait, I know! I’ll set it by the curb, and someone that really needs it will just wander by with a truck and say: “Thank goodness there is half a bench seat for a 1984 Toyota Camry here! I NEEDED one of those!”
Wait, it’s still there. I thought someone would totally need it. Oh, maybe I should tape a piece of paper that says free onto it: There! Perfect! Goodbye stuff! Now the universe can deal with you and I can rest easy!
But the rest of the universe can’t deal with all this free CRAP! and it happens every day around PDX. The free box serum is one symptom of a larger sickness regarding waste; no, Portland your trash isn’t necessarily someone else’s treasure.
If it’s a broken toilet, or used incense in a wet box, it’s probably just actual trash! There is a serious reevaluation of waste on the line for Portland, because even though sometimes pretending to be green, and offering up your extra things to someone that might be less fortunate seems/feels like the right thing to do, but too often it becomes an excuse for Portlanders to ignore the reality that they, much like the rest of the world, are addicted to gathering new things, and producing huge amounts of waste.
According to Willamette Week, Portland has the nation’s fastest growing economy, which means we are making and selling more stuff than ever, but if we as a culture or city are going to evolve then it is time we start looking deeply into ourselves and begin attempting to repurpose our old belongings ourselves, rather than set them out to get inevitably rained on. We only get one planet, and yes that corner of the street over there is part of it.