Caixa Parda Day

Caixa Parda day is a simple project that aims to stronger the culture of collaboration by reusing objects, reducing consumption and the use of natural resources.

The idea is to put boxes in places where people can leave things and pick anything they want, with no finance exchange neither necessity to only take away someting if they left another. The project happens in a specifc day, from the morning unil the end of the afternoon, in the streets or inside events. The invitation to the community is made on social media and sometimes it is possible to put some information sheets in places like supermarkets or drugstores in the neighborhood.

To start the Caixa Parda Day, it is necessary to put the colorful boxes at the determinated place with the following message on it:

Put here what you think that can be useful for other people and take away what you want.

After that the Global Shapers settled an agenda to guarantee that there's always somebody to explain the project, but can't control what people are leaving or taking. The idea is to welcome everybody to participate. By the end of the afternoon, Global Shapers take what's left and give it to someone who will use those things.

The Caixa Parda day happened 6 times in 2014, 2 of them at the same place, and werw very succesful.

You can watch a video here:

And visit the Facebook Page here:

Other Hubs demonstrated interest on having a Caixa Parda Day in their cities, so we created some guidelines with some interesting points that we've learned. We wish that every person who likes the project feel free to do it.

Caixa Parda Day - Tips for a great experience:

These are open and simple guidelines on how can anyone make a Caixa Parda Day anywhere in the world. Here we offer general tips on how to do it, based on previews experiences from the Global Shapers Porto Alegre community.


Caixa Parda is a simple, replicable and accessible Sharing Economy activity. Boxes are spread in the streets for people to give away what they don’t use anymore, and get what they want. There are no specific rules, so they don’t need to leave something to get things, and can only drop stuff if that suits them.


a. Types of boxes: get many sizes. Sets of boxes of different sizes call attention and don’t get confused with trash boxes, for example. We suggest sets with at least one large and one small box.
b. Bigger boxes are more easily seen, but can make it difficult for people to reach for stuff. They are useful for clothes and bigger objects.
c. Small boxes found in supermarkets are perfect for books and kids’ toys.
d. Make them beautiful! Not only it’s very fun, giving a ‘trait’ to the boxes prior to the day can stimulate people to engage more easily.

a. It’s quite important to have people around the boxes, at least in the beginning of the activity. It helps people to understand the meaning of the boxes. But careful: try not to control what people are doing! Just let them decide what’s their best interest and go with the flow.
b. Pick a street with a high Walkability Index. Also, it helps if it’s in a high density residential neighborhood with some comercial units, such as supermarkets. It’s good to have a large sidewalk where people can interact with the boxes without jeopardizing other people’s mobility.

a. Tell people about it. Prior knowledge of the activity helps people organize what they are going to leave in the boxes. Get our template sign and leave in comercial units nearby where you are planning the Caixa Parda day, for example.
b. Social Media are cheap and work very well. Crate an event and post on Facebook around 1 week before the day. Hashtag #diadacaixaparda. Sync a post with friends, this is proven to help a lot to spread the word.
c. If you know someone from the press, great.

a. Select one or two street blocks and begin from there. Organize the boxes in the sidewalks.
b. Fix the explanatory sign where it can be easily seen.
c. Fill the boxes with things to initiate the activity.

a. Enjoy it.
b. Go for the more exciting stories from participants.
c. Take pictures, film it and spread this great example.
d. If you see people excited with the Caixa Parda day and wanting to promote the activity somewhere else, give them the link to this guide. Offer your help. Collaborate.
e. In the end, don’t forget to collect what’s left there. You can reach for partnerships with local commerce and maybe have a fixed box for it. You can also donate what’s left or keep for the next Caixa Parda day!

Facebook post example:
On month day you will see many boxes spread in street. Leave there what you don’t need anymore and get stuff you like. Things don’t need to be bought and sharing can be that easy.

Explanatory sign:

This box is for you to leave what’s useful but you don’t need anymore. Or if you like something, just take it. It is that simple.