Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Compact

I had heard of this before, but didn't know much about it until last week. The Compact is a group of citizens that originated in San Fran about a year and a half ago, who pledged to buy nothing new for a year except food and items related to personal hygiene and safety - brake fluid, underwear (is that safety or hygiene?), toilet paper, etc.

I think this is a really fantastic idea and it seems to have caught on quite a bit. I'm now a member of their yahoo group and the amount of posts they generate are simply staggering. These people mean business. And the great thing is that since they are all in it together, they share ideas on how to get around purchasing problems.

Now for those of you who are thinking uggh, a year without buying anything, think again. They are just not buying anything new. I personally check craigslist for just about everything before I buy something new, simply to avoid all of the packaging and to take myself out of the production cycle. So they're not living frugal lives necessarily, just thinking more about their purchases and considering what's important.

Here's a great list i saw posted by one of the groups members. It was actually printed ona little credit card holder and was intended to make you think before pulling it out. This is waht was printed on the holder:

I want my money to support the environment.

* Is this purchase something I need?
* Do I already own something that will serve the same purpose?
* Can I borrow one instead of buying new?
* Can I make something that will serve the same purpose?
* Can I buy a used one?
* Would someone be willing to split the cost and share this with me?
* Can I buy or commission one made locally?
* Can I buy one that was made with environmentally responsible
* Can I buy one that serves more than one purpose?
* Can I get something human powered instead of gas or electric?
* Can I compost or recycle it when I'm done with it?
* Have I considered the impact on the environment of the full
lifecycle of it - did the manufacture or disposal of it damage
the environment?

Great questions and a really good list to go through before making a purchase.


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