Bringing Reuse To My Hometown’s New Generation


Last week, 245 students in grades 3-5 sat on a gym floor to watch REUSE! Because You Can’t Recycle The Planet. and hear me talk. This screening was especially rewarding, as it was the first time that I screened my film at one of the schools in my hometown of Norwell, MA. I was really impressed by the level of questions that I got asked by these elementary school students. It assured me that they left with a new grasp on solutions to our waste problem.

After I screened my film for the older students, I did a talk with the 200+ students in grades K-2. I knew that a lot of the film would be over their head, so I did a short talk, we watched a few clips and then we did a “Reuse Sticker Workshop.”

A few years ago, a friend of mine sent me a few thousand brand new “day” stickers that were being thrown away. I’ve used them for all sorts of things, but this workshop was certainly the most fun. The kids had so much fun making their own custom stickers and were putting them on their notebooks, their shirts, but fortunately, they did listen to my request and didn’t out any on the gym floor.

This was the first time I’ve done a split like that with different grades and it went smoothly. It’ll definitely be a new option for me. Reuse education can be pretty dang fun.









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Posted in Disposables, Events, kids, Speaking, Workshops | 19 Comments

Celebrating The New iPhone 7… With My Refurbished Phone

In case you haven’t heard, Apple is releasing yet another iPhone and the preorders started today. One of the key features of the phone is no headphone jack. Repeat: no headphone jack. They say their airpod wireless headphones are amazing. They say it’s better sound. They say the future is wireless.

But here’s the problem. The present is a ton of iPhone users with earbuds. What will happen to all of those? If users get new wireless headphones with the new phone, a lot of old earbuds are going to end up in the trash. There is talk that users can buy an adapter to connect the old headphones to the charging port, but that’s more resources used to make the adapters and also more money the users have to spend.

To me, I just see this as a way for Apple to make more money from consumers by duping them into thinking they “need” the latest technology. And it’s creating so much waste at the same time: wasted resources on making new phones, accessories, and packaging, e-waste with the soon to be outdated phones and wasted money by consumers.

_mfc9812Photo by Brian Samuelson

In the two years that I’ve had my refurbished phone, I’ve been able to travel around the country a couple of times, run a company, and make a movie. Somehow, without having the latest and greatest smart phone, I’m still breathing. Gasp! I will say that I do need some kind of upgrade soon, but there are plenty of perfectly good reuse solutions out there. Between Craigslist, eBay, friends, and cell phone companies selling refurbished phones, I’ll be all set.

What I hope for in the near future is that we get to a point when technology and sustainability can work together. I’d like to see people be able to easily upgrade or repair their phone, instead of having to buy a completely new one. So, before you rush out to preorder the new iPhone or head to the store when it’s released, I ask you to ask yourself, “What am I really supporting here: technological advancements or a wasteful society?”

I see it as supporting a wasteful society and thats why I’m celebrating the new Apple iPhone 7 by continuing to use my 2-year old refurbished phone.

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Posted in Cell Phones, Refurbishing, Technology | 60 Comments

You Never Know What’s Around The Corner… Literally.

So, here’s one of those stories that’s just too amazing to make up. The other day, someone made an offer on one of my vintage G.I. Joe items that I had in my eBay store. It was a little lower than I wanted, but their user name looked like the name of someone I know. And when I looked at the zipcode they were from and it was the same as mine, I knew it had to be him. So, I accepted the offer. He’s the son of a family friend and a fellow skateboarder after all.

After receiving the payment, I reached out on Facebook and I arranged to deliver the items, since he literally lived really close by. (For anybody taking notes, the item that I sold was the Cobra Hydrofoil with the original box.) So, yesterday morning, I headed to his house with the box containing parts of my childhood. As we haven’t seen each other in years, we got talking about all sorts of things, including toys, our families, and of course, skateboarding.

He was a regular at the same skateshop that I was sponsored by in the late 90’s. A couple of times while we were talking, he mentioned that he had some old skateboards and I should check them out.  I was really busy yesterday, so I told him that I’d come back another time. But as we talked a little more, he encouraged me to check out his collection again and so I gave in. And all I can say is HOLY. FREAKIN’. CRAP!

Alex Eaves Vintage Skateboards

This dude didn’t just have “some old skateboards.” He had one of the most insane 1980’s-90’s skateboard and merchandise collections that I’ve ever seen. This photo is just some of it. And it didn’t just stop with skateboarding. He had toys, games, cars, signs, a Nintendo NES in the box, an unopened box of Elvis trading cards, you name it. And that bike I’m sitting on? It’s almost the exact same one that I had growing up in the 80’s! It was ridiculous!

This was like one of those stories that you read about in magazines or see on TV, where somebody stumbles upon a goldmine of a comic book or baseball card collection. But this one was about toys and skateboards. And this story happened to me!

What I really appreciated about the situation is that this wasn’t just stuff that he bought new and saved for years. These were items from yard sales, thrift stores, eBay, but most of the items were found in houses where he was doing renovation work. And a lot of that stuff was just going to be tossed out. So, instead of just seeing it go to the landfill, he’s keeping it for people to see, as he has it all nicely displayed and not just hording it all in a basement.

Well, I’m still recovering from my excitement shock, but I’m hoping that this is the beginning of a new friendship. Not only do I want to go back and gawk at all of his stuff, but we realized how much we share a passion for keeping things alive. Oh, and one more thing. He’s an art teacher at a local school, so the plans are already in the works for me to come in and lead a reuse workshop. Yep.

Well, all I can say is, man am I glad I accepted his low offer! Haha.

Have a good one..

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Posted in Growing Up, Skateboarding, Toys | 19 Comments