The mission I'm on is downsizing, minimalizing my collection of personal belongings. I did several films on http://youtube.com/user/brawny03 showing simple hand sewing techniques for repairing gear. Replacing buttons, adding drawcords, modifying exisiting stuff to prolong its life are all important skills.
Then I did a whole series of hobo gear ideas, from backpacking wood stoves, making cordage from plastic bags, survival in a can systems, and more. The idea here is to practice recycling otherwise useless items into things I need. Not that I need them now. These projects provide skills and useful knowledge about how raw materials behave under heat, cold, and stress.
For instance, I tested the idea of bringing water to a boil in a soda bottle over a camp fire, using cordage made entirely of plastic bags. This could become a survival tool in a SHTF scenario.
I tested the idea of various lamps using motor oil, cotton strips from a bandana, and tin can. This worked better than I anticipated!
As I repair stuff, or decide its not worth repairing, I look for ways it might be recycled into useful Other Items.
A lamp, a fuel starter, a stove, a boiling water apparatus, all made out of typical landfill, side of the road junk are items that a person would need if the world no longer functioned as we're used to.