Monday, January 22, 2007

Compacting

Today, after purchasing a Keeper (which I have wanted to for a long time) , I joined Compact

Compact is a movement with these goals:
"1) to go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of U.S. consumer culture, to resist global corporatism, and to support local businesses, farms, etc. -- a step, we hope, inherits the revolutionary impulse of the Mayflower Compact; 2) to reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er); 3) to simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact)"

Part of that pledge is to not buy anything NEW for a year (that's right folks, a whole year). It's all part of trying to reduce consumerism and live a fuller life in the absence of THINGS.

A few exceptions:
- food and drink
- necessities like underwear, cleaning products, socks
- you can buy new

My personal pledge:
- No NEW stuff for a year - anything that is not on the above list will not be bought by me
- I will buy only used and only when absolutely necessary
- I will not ask others to buy me stuff or give them to me as gifts
- This pledge applies to me and although I will try to set a good example, I will not guilt or force my husband and others in my household into compacting.
- I will try to reduce my consumption by following an ever-expanding list of 1 or more things to do each day

My list for today:
- post on this blog
- decide whether to give up credit cards

For tomorrow:
- if i decide to give up credit cards, start today
- Read this article
- Continue on my no-disposable personal products with my Glad Rags
- Post to wardrobe refashion

I found this on Comsumer Disobedience, and since I've been decluttering a while now, I'm posting my responses:

When you started to simplify, what items did you find yourself getting rid
of?

I started with clothes and accessories, but it was easier at first tossing old papers and multiples of things (I only need one comb and one toothbrush, really). Now I've moved on to more difficult sentimental things: old cassettes (who listens to those anymore?), shoes (I always thought you could never have too many), and household appliances. It's a constant process of editing the house.

How did you deal with the guilt associated with getting rid of certain items
(like things you mom or spouse gave you)?

I haven't given away everything yet, but I did tell them, and warn them I'm giving them away, I hope you don't mind. Occasionally they would be sad and then I'd explain. But they've been understanding, so it's okay. And I make sure to keep the really really sentimental stuff like a few heirlooms.

When you were in transition, did you use up cleaners and toiletry items that
you already had, knowing they weren't good for you, or did you replace as much as you could as fast as you could?,

I have been using them up, mostly, but I haven't had too many non-friendly items around, since I tended to buy green before. The few I have I pass on to friends and others. Not the best idea, since they are still using them, but at least there is less waste, and one less thing that THEY will buy.

What do you do with gifts that are not compact friendly (like bubble bath
from the dollar store?)

They go to others who will use them or else to Goodwill. I find that the better thing is to tell people not to get me things. It doesn't always work (I got tons of flowers at graduation) but at least people think about what gifts to get a little more conscientiously.

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