A Halloween horror story
GLOB Content Editor Lynn Dirk writes Table Scraps, an occasional column featuring compostable food for thought, scrap mettle for possible salvage, and crisp pieces of rendered thoughts.
There is a VIP in town – a Very Important Place: The Repurpose Project (RP). Its mission: To stretch reuse and recycling to places where none have gone before. To salvage items that regular thrift stores won't take, such as odd pieces of wood and old jewelry that is coming apart. To take broken items and salvage material from them that can be used to create something entirely new.
The RP, a very worthy non-profit organization, is moving to a bigger and better place, but it needs help to get all that stuff to the new place. I am hoping to convince you that the RP is important enough for you to help them move. Why is the Repurpose Project VERY IMPORTANT?? It all has to do with STUFF.
Stuff is alive -- just like that plant in Little Shop of Horrors, and stuff can strangle us. I learned about the horror of stuff at the first Cinema Verde Environmental Film and Arts Festival in 2010, when I saw the video, The Story of Stuff. From this video I learned that, since the end of WWII, the economy has been creating a culture that makes buying stuff our sole purpose. The quote shown here, an excerpt from the movie, is an actual quote from an influential economist of that time who helped to give birth to and promote what I will now call the Reign of Terror of Stuff. For example, we have all heard of "planned obsolence" where things are designed to have a short life so we buy more, but there is also "perceived obsolence" that makes us want to buy the latest fashions. I also learned that 99% of the stuff we buy becomes trash within 6 months from the date of purchase. But the worst thing about stuff is how it exploits and then wastes resources.
The Story of Stuff should be required viewing for ALL CONSUMERS – and that's EVERYONE. You can see this enlightening, frightening, and yet simultaneously entertaining 20-minute video anytime at the Story of Stuff Project website (pic at right is a link). If you don't have time to watch the video, check out the Story Of Stuff FAQs Sheet.
In addition to what I learned from the Story of Stuff, I know stuff is a problem because I, myself, have too much, and I know other people do too because I've talked to friends and coworkers about this problem. We all bemoan having too much stuff.
Also, I've watched A&E's Hoarders. Well, most of us are not THAT bad, but it can really catch up with you when you aren't looking.
There might be one person in the United States who does not have too much stuff – my sister. She actually has some drawers in her house that are empty. It amazes me and I find it a little disturbing, but I totally understand why. By the time I left home to go to college, my sister was a pre-teen and my mother was just beginning a slow spiral into hoarding. Her couponing addiction did not help. She was never as bad as those people on Hoarders, but it was bad enough.
Stuff is truly seductive and it can be valuable, especially to people who sell and buy it on the you-can-sell-anything-on-the-worldwide-website, eBay.com. This phenomenon is sweetly described by that musical genius Weird Al Yankovic in his music video eBay. No wonder stuff is so easy to collect and so hard to get rid of.
But have no fear – The Repurpose Project is THE CURE for stuff. What makes the RP different from ordinary thrift shops is that it collects ANY and EVERYthing! In addition to broken chairs, for example, it will also accept those little odds and ends that you know just might come in handy someday but finally decide one day to throw it away and then as soon as you get rid of it you wish you had it.
Now, instead of giving up on getting rid of stuff, you can take it to the RP and have confidence that, when you need a very specific item, you will be able to find just exactly what you need at the RP. You can see the amazing variety of stuff the RP collects at their Craigslist web page.
Are you now convinced that the RP is a good cause and worth helping? If so, FOLLOW THIS LINK to read about how to help them move all that stuff!
Also, the new location is around the corner from Satchel's Pizza. So when you go take your stuff there or go to find just the perfect something you need for some special project, after you go to the RP, you can stop in at Satchels' for some pizza and beer and maybe some music as a reward for helping to save the planet from The Strangulation of Stuff. Happy Halloween!