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My year on the Compact - a brag

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is the document I wrote when I was preparing:

I will not buy anything new in 2008, with the exception of necessary food, safety, and health items. I will borrow, barter, or buy used. If it is absolutely necessary to buy new (i.e. the item I need is unavailable used), I will support small and local businesses.
I will only buy (used) items we need.
I will make an even more conscious effort to cook at home, from scratch, and not give into the temptation of eating out. On the rare occasion we do eat out, I will support locally-owned and small businesses.
I will take a fresh look at my home and let go of items that we no longer need or love. If I am able to sell items, I will put the earnings into our savings.

Exceptions:
Socks, shoes, and underwear are exempt, but only if we DIRELY need them.
Craft items may be purchased, but only from small or locally-owned businesses, only if they are needed for a specific project, and only if I don’t have anything else that will suffice. No stockpiling is allowed. I did manage to find a number of craft items at the thrift store, so I would make sure to check there first if I needed anything.
Because it will provide food, the purchase of new seeds is allowed for our garden. I must try to find any supplies needed for building planters through second-hand channels first, and will try to get seeds and plants for free before buying. I must buy from a local nursery. Hmm...didn't get around to gardening this summer. Maybe next year!
Small business purchases are allowed, but the most ecological choices should be made. For example, printer ink and paper are necessities, but I should buy paper made from recycled materials and look into refillable ink jet cartridges.

Goals:
To do my part to reduce waste, benefit the environment, and reject consumerism.
To teach my children those same values.
To save money and provide myself with the freedom to choose whether I want to keep my business or say goodbye to it for good.
To learn to separate wants from needs, and to continue my journey toward a simpler life.


Did I cheat? Yes. I'm human. Did I cheat more than a handful of times? No. I found that Compacting became second nature after a short while. I broke the habit of recreational shopping a few years ago, but now the thought of walking into the CRAP, er, GAP and dropping a couple hundred bucks on a fall wardrobe is so entirely foreign to me.

My DH didn't officially Compact, but he did take my lead in a lot of areas. I do all of the buying for the girls, so they were on the Compact with me.

While I'm not going to sign a Compact for 2009, at least not right away, it has certainly changed me for good. I do have a few things I need to buy - shower curtain hooks and metal measuring cups - that I haven't managed to find second-hand. I was remarking earlier today that if shower hooks and measuring cups are my big splurge items, I must be a changed woman!
post #2 of 15
Wow, you did amazing!!

Yeah, new metal measuring cups would be a splurge to me too.
post #3 of 15
Wow! Fantastic work. I'm feeling inspired
post #4 of 15
that is so awesome! i really enjoyed reading your post. i did it for the month of feb '08 and it was helpful to me in reassessing some habits and impulses. i'm not ready to commit to the compact again right now, setting up house, but after doing the compact, i *always* check craigslist first, lol. it was eye-opening to realize that most purchases can wait a while until the right thing at the right price comes along, or to realize i can do it myself, etc.
post #5 of 15
Great job!
post #6 of 15
Very inspirational. Thanks for sharing.
post #7 of 15
Great Job!!!!

Do you have any interesting links to share? I joined the yahoo group, but it's so overwhelming, huge #'s of posts!
post #8 of 15
Wow, I am loving this idea. I know I wouldn't get 100% compliance for myself, but I am still very intregued. Kudos to you for the great job you did.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalulu View Post
Great job!
Thanks for the bump, my friend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyMomma View Post
Great Job!!!!

Do you have any interesting links to share? I joined the yahoo group, but it's so overwhelming, huge #'s of posts!
Hmm. I lurk around a bit on the simpleliving.net forums, and I lurk around this forum much more than I post.

While it would have been nice to have a tribe while I was working through this, it did kind of have a snowball effect on my consciousness. The more I thought about buying, consumerism, overpackaging, and unfair labour standards, the less I wanted to be the one contributing to them.
post #10 of 15
That is really awesome. It's something I would love to do, but not sure how involved DH would want to be.
post #11 of 15
Great job, and so inspiring! :
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiemonster View Post
Thanks for the bump, my friend!



Hmm. I lurk around a bit on the simpleliving.net forums, and I lurk around this forum much more than I post.

While it would have been nice to have a tribe while I was working through this, it did kind of have a snowball effect on my consciousness. The more I thought about buying, consumerism, overpackaging, and unfair labour standards, the less I wanted to be the one contributing to them.
I've noticed that too - the more I think about it, the less I WANT to buy, and the more responsible I am about the purchases I make.
post #13 of 15
wonderful!
post #14 of 15
I always see nice metal measuring cups at antique stores
post #15 of 15
I joined the compact this year and I'm still all pumped up with the beginner enthusiasm. I have been reading about 'The compact' for almost a year now and finally mustered up some courage to jump in.

So glad to see your article about your compacting last year. Congratulations!!! It''s very inspiring! Thank you! You did GREAT!
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