The Compact

April 22, 2008

There is a movement called The Compact. From what I understand, it was started by a few friends in San Francisco to abstain from buying anything new for a year. From the blog (, here are the reasons:

  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;
  2. to reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er); 3) to simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact).

I was then inspired by a blog Joy shared with me:, a Christian gal who lives in a veggie powered RV and is a raw-foodie. I love food too much for that, but we’d love to veggie our land cruiser some day.

I know I struggle with materialism, so I’m going to attempt to be a ‘Compactor’ for the next few months – don’t know if i could go a year. And especially living in such a small community, its not like we have a thriving Craigslist or Freecycle network, so it will be hard to buy things used. At the same time, its not like we have any normal shopping options – but will have to remove my Steep&Cheap firefox plug-in.
So, the main areas I’m going to focus on are clothing, home goods and sporting equipment (Dave has already excluded the bike he is buying me – I’ve tried, but haven’t been able to find it used).

What I aim to accomplish:

  • Setting up a compost bin in the backyard
  • Making all gifts (so i can buy yarn… but try to borrow needles if i don’t have the size)
  • If i do need to buy something new (if i can’t find it used), it must be at least 40% off retail price.
  • Join the local food CO-OP to get organic and locally grown food.

The 5 Worst Excuses for Not Going Green

Happy Earth Day

Fox Business has a story about the five worst excuses for not going green.

Excuse No. 1: ‘It’s too expensive.’

That is my big excuse – it is expensive to buy organic and to install solar panels. But CFL lights don’t cost much more, and either do Method cleaning products if I buy them at Target – just got to make sure I’m not driving to Glenwood just to go to Target.

Excuse No. 2: ‘My individual effort won’t
make a difference.’

Neither does my vote, but i still do it anyway.

Excuse No. 3: ‘It doesn’t fit into my lifestyle.’

I just read that residents of NYC have the lowest carbon footprint. That due to more public transportation and the ability to buy local. Living in a more rural area, I rely on imported goods and have to use my car some. But I’m also able to ride my bike to work, and the new food Co-op has locally grown food.

Excuse No. 4: ‘Green products don’t work
as well.’

The only green product i found that doesn’t work as well are dishwasher cubes. So I buy powder instead.

Excuse No. 5: “I don’t know where
to start.”

Easy things to start? Change lightbulbs, grow a garden, set up a compost bin, ride you bike.

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