The best “Trust Hut”

I was cycling around the outskirts of York the other day when I came across a “Trust Hut”:


This is a small shack which sells a variety of food and drink for weary travellers but does not have anyone manning the stall. In fact, they rely on the good in humanity to make any money. Everything you take from the Trust Hut has a price, it’s just up to you whether or not you pay it.

There’s no-one around to fully keep tabs on it and all the stock is out for the world to take, the owners just hope they don’t. They even advocate taking things when you don’t have enough money to pay for them, simply put in some extra money the next time you pass by or send them the money afterwards.

It’s an idea which I applaud.

We don’t have a huge amount of trust in our society at the moment. A lot of people will spout individualist ideals which warn us of others and I think that’s sad.

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I like having a basic trust in people. I don’t suggest we give everyone the pin-code to our secret bunker (we all have those right?!), but that we give others the benefit of the doubt until we know a bit better. These people who run the Trust Hut just give others the benefit of the doubt regardless.

Granted, this is a tiny little stall in the middle of nowhere which sells tiny profit margin products and doesn’t have to pay staff wages, but I still think it’s nice.

They’ve got a big garden with sofas and everything. You can just chill and relax whilst sipping on a cold Diet Coke and thinking about how society can be good if we all just get along.

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One of the most admirable (or crazy, depending on who you talk to) things about the Trust Hut is that a week before I arrived, they were robbed of all their stock and all of the money they have raised, yet they kept up with the trusting.

I’m sure this isn’t a new concept but it’s something which I thought said something good about the world. I wonder how well it would work in a city centre when all and sundry would walk by. How much can we trust others? At what price point of goods does the Trust Hut become untenable?

CDs? DVDs? Toasters? Microwaves? TVs? iPhones?

I’d like to find out although I don’t have deep enough pockets to try…