4 Simple Things You Can Do to Effect Change…

Often people ask what they can really do to make change happen in the world around them. Peaceful protests are great (Occupy), but if you really want to effect change, here are 4 real-world things you can do:
Repurpose Everything
1. Close your bank account at the big bank corpos, and open an account at a local credit union or small bank. The big banks don’t care about you, and they treat your money like it’s their money.

2. Buy food that is grown locally. Big corpo agriculture doesn’t care what you eat, and serves up an inferior product in high volumes for nothing but profit.

3. Stop buying products from the big corpos. There are many small locally owned businesses that offer good or better products. It may cost a little more, but in the long run, it’s worth it to our communities.

4. When possible, REPURPOSE EVERYTHING!

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Published in: on October 25, 2011 at 11:33 am  Comments (1)  

Herb Garden Table…

Molly Conrad created this simple herb garden table out of an old window and a few glass blocks.

Repurposed window into a table for plants

Published in: on October 13, 2011 at 8:15 am  Comments (1)  

What can you really do to effect change?

I started repurposeeverything.org mainly because I felt that communicating the idea of repurposing things to everyone, for everyone, was a good idea. I was once the Editor and Technical Director of a non-profit organization called, Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, and I learned much about building new things from anything that was lying about. Anyone who has faced the challenge of building something new and useful, but has limited funds, learns how to do the best with what one has on hand. And, often it’s proof that one doesn’t need the best tools to do the best work.

Repurposeeverything.org is actually the genesis of a whole group of people who feel that many of the things we think we need have already been created – or that things that have already been created can be repurposed into what we need – we just don’t need to buy most things new. We feel this action of repurposing is a small but functional solution for creating many of the changes we are seeking to secure our futures on this living planet.

People in alignment with the OccupyWallStreet movement still ask what can they do to effect the changes that are essential to our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – or even to our ultimate survival. One action we propose is simple – repurpose, reuse, and just don’t buy into the vapid corporate offerings of disposable products. Sure, there are certain innovations within our present technology that have been interwoven into the way we network with one another socially that we can use to our direct benefit, and those things we will continue to use to our communicative advantage. But it is the offered products of novelty – and not much real purpose – designed to replace that with which we could repurpose from old, or recreate ourselves that we can shun in favor of simply repurposing or reusing still useful things already in existence.

This is something you can put into action….and we hope you do.

~Michael Theroux – Founder of REPURPOSE EVERYTHING

Published in: on October 12, 2011 at 1:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Repurposed computers….for everyone

Since we like to repurpose everything, and that does mean everything, the computers we use to do everything here are, of course, repurposed. What’s brilliant about this is that we can take an old discarded PC, and install an open-source (and free) operating system on it – and we can do nearly anything anyone with a newly purchased machine can do.

Our preference is the Ubuntu linux operating system as it just works. Wireless is simple and flawless so connecting to the internet is a breeze, and its base installation comes packaged with all the free applications most people need.

Ubuntu linux desktop

I usually hear from industry skeptics (usually Windows users) that the learning curve for this OS is just too great for the average user, but after having installed it on several machines, used by all walks of computer agility, most people new to the OS quickly find their way around it.

Ubuntu linux uses far less resources than the more popular operating systems, which lends it a felicitous advantage when installed on older PCs (machines considered obsolete and useless). And, security is far better. Be it because the operating system is not very popular (and less focused on by the authors of malware), or because it actually possesses better security, it is far less susceptible to malware attacks.

So, instead of tossing out that old PC, install Ubuntu linux on it and give it a good test drive. It’s what we use – and we’re not disappointed in any way – we doubt you’ll be disappointed either. Download Ubuntu here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download

Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 2:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Radio for the office….1960s Zenith

Zenith AM/FM Clock Radio - circa 1960s

Here’s the radio I ended up getting for the office (I returned the new disposable POS). It works and sounds fantastic, and the clock keeps perfect time (it’s 50+- years old). The radio cost $5 at a thrift store.

Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 12:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Quality vs. Quantity, and a lesson in patience…

radioWith all of the “stuff” that has been manufactured in the last century, why does anyone think they have to have “new?” Things that were made 30, 40, 50 or even a hundred years ago are either still in use, or waiting to be repurposed. Much of what was created is still in working order and can simply be reused. Just visit any local thrift store and peruse the stock – it’s loaded with reuseable goods, or things to be repurposed. And it’s cheaper than buying new.

My new office (a room in the house) needed a radio, as I listen to radio nearly 24/7. I looked online for a cheap radio to fill the position, found one that possessed my quirky requirements, and then searched for a local store that stocked it. Unfortunately, I was rather impatient, and went right out and purchased it. It sucks. It’s cheap, it’s made in China, the reception is full of static, and it sounds like crap. Why the hell did I do that? Well, for some reason, I still have faith – faith that maybe someone is going to produce a product that might just live up to their advertising. While there are still a few companies out there that do produce a decent product, this radio didn’t measure up. My initial plan was to hit the local thrift stores and buy an old radio. My impatience led me down the path of disappointment.

I’d do a formal review of the radio, but it’s just disposable junk. The point is I think we all want to have faith that manufacturers are creating quality products that they are proud to represent – just like they did in the past. There are some that get it – that want to produce a quality article because they want us to be happy with it. Sadly, most manufacturers today seem to disregard offering quality in favor of offering substandard quantity and the quick sale. Anyway, my bad, and a lesson for me in patience. I’m hitting the thrifts again tomorrow for a radio built when quality was above quantity. Wish me luck.

Published in: on October 7, 2011 at 1:09 am  Comments (1)  

Documentary: Repurpose

Published in: on October 6, 2011 at 8:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Pedal Power…..

Check this out:

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2011/05/pedal-powered-farms-and-factories.html

Published in: on October 1, 2011 at 2:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Last Train Home….

Think about this the next time you are in Walmart buying stuff…..

Watch the full-length documentary here:

http://www.pbs.org/pov/lasttrainhome/full.php

Published in: on October 1, 2011 at 2:26 am  Leave a Comment