Keeping an eye on how much we buy is the goal of The Compact
The group, SF Compact
began as an informal meeting of acquaintences in San Francisco [where else, I suppose
] dedicated to "...go beyond recycling in trying to counteract... the impacts of disposable consumer culture and to support local businesses, farms...
and to "...reduce clutter and waste in our homes [and] simplify our lives.
No Marie Antoinette
style clothes horses these folks, the goals of the group [and those who emulate their objectives] are that they "...must buy used, or borrow. No new stuff, with the exception of food, necessary medicines and health care items, and -- no joke -- underwear.
Recently, free-lance writer and cautious consumer
Wendee Holtcamp put herself to the test and attempted to live for one month without buying anything new. It wasn't easy. Lured into a Hallmark Card store with a "75% Off" sign, she took her children in, where they purchased a card with a penguin that pooped! She wrote about her experience, and of some of the challenges faced by eco-conscious shoppers on AlterNet's Environment
pages with an essay My 30 Days of Consumer Celibacy
It comes as no surprise to me that some on the idiot fringe of life have already seen fit to blame the collapse of western civilization on frugal spending habits.
On a Seattle radio show that aired just after the group formed, the host ripped into John Perry, one of the original Compacting friends, saying, "You people are bad for America and you're bad for the American economy
I don't believe it. On the other hand, I recognize how difficult not buying new can be, even when there are no stores to sate my appetite for shiny new baubles anywhere close to where I live. I find myself duly challenged.
Labels: buying, consumerism, expendible income, GDP, habits, shopping, waste