The Compact: Stepping off the Consumer Grid this Year

Still looking for a New Year's Resolution? (Now is about the time that many first attempts have been discarded, so you may be looking for your second). Wanting to translate the inaugural euphoria about change into a personal commitment to live more meaningfully? Then check out The Compact. They are a blog and group of followers who are aiming to live 2009 according to these principles:

  • To go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of disposable consumer culture and to support local businesses, farms, etc. -- a step that, we hope, inherits the revolutionary impulse of the Mayflower Compact.

  • To reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er).

  • To simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact)

They have two goals

  1. Don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)

  2. Borrow, barter, or buy used.

Even if you feel like these are unattainable goals right now, there's something in the message to learn from. What household items can you stop buying new, either by making your own or by thrifting/bartering?What purchases are simply unnecessary?

Starting with one part of your household's budget, whether it's clothing or cleaning products, is a good way to begin to distentagle from the many consumption habits we've been taught (by marketing or example) are necessary, when they're really not.

Still sound a little far-fetched? See this explanation from The Non-Consumer Advocate (and Compact pledger).

Tags: Budget, Consumption, Reuse, Second-hand, Thrift

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