This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

ExecuSpeak Dictionary: Repurpose

PHILADELPHIA ( MainStreet) -- "Repurpose" seems to be an ever-so-useful word. It's a lovely catch-all, more so than "reuse" and "recycle" and far better than "salvage." Akin to "reinvent."  

It seems that anything can be repurposed ... ideas, furniture, shopping centers, books and more. "Repurpose" is a wide-ranging and all-encompassing concept.  

Let's review some of the alternatives:

Towels are reused. Hotels provide their guests with the opportunity to re-use towels one day to the next instead of putting fresh towels in every room every day. Clothing is reused, handed down or resold. The basic thing stays the same, but not when someone else is wearing it. Plastic bags are reused when the little sack that carried home the apples is used the next day to carry out the trash.  

Trash is recycled. It is broken down, pulverized or chemically processed so it can be used as an ingredient in some other process or product. Sometimes trash is repurposed so gum wrappers are the key ingredient of woven toys and bracelets available at Ten Thousand Villages gift shops.   

Frequently scrap is salvaged, taken apart, sorted, separated and possibly sold off in many directions. Scrap metal can be melted down and used again. (Some of the scrap is recycled. Think T-shirts made from old tires.) Opportunities are salvaged. Maybe the plan is not the original plan, but that doesn't mean all is for naught. 

>>Michael's Thrives Amid Recession

Let's not forget reinvent. Sometimes people talk about "reinventing the wheel" but that's when the word is used in a negative way. Reinvention is not always a bad thing. In its own way, Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iPod is a reinvented portable CD player. Martha Stewart (MSO - Get Report), the company, was considered "reinvented" when it survived without Martha Stewart, the person, at the helm. The news that the iPod hardware designer just reinvented the thermostat is considered a good thing.  

Repurposing, however, seems to be the word of choice when the goal or the accomplishment is to create value by finding a new reason for an existing product or process. Think of it this way: If the purpose for doing something is the reason, repurposing is finding a new reason -- giving new life from something that has been discarded or, perhaps, left by the wayside. Examples might include:
  • Burp clothes created by sewing scraps of fabric onto old diapers.
  • Vegetable gardens in vacant lots fertilized by food waste in the mulch pile.
  • Recovering addicts sharing knowledge and experience in the role of addiction counselors and mentors.
  • Start-up incubators and flea markets occupying abandoned warehouses and shopping centers.
 

Repurposing is not just about things; it can apply to people too. To all the unemployed, underemployed and unhappily employed: May 2012 be the year you successfully repurpose your life.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

RELATED STORIES:

Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $125.66 0.91%
MSO $6.20 0.16%
FB $86.00 0.23%
GOOG $524.39 0.55%
TSLA $268.30 2.40%

Markets

DOW 17,656.84 +60.49 0.34%
S&P 500 2,063.26 +5.62 0.27%
NASDAQ 4,982.36 +23.8920 0.48%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs