Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Original Compact

This is the original Compact summary that we are following with some personal modifications that suit our situation a little better. We will be following all these ideas and adding a few f our own, which we will post soon.

Here it is:

January 1st  was the start of our 12-month flight from the consumer grid. The Compact has several aims (more or less prioritized below):

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)

So, here goes for the rules:

·  First principle - don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)

·  Second principle - borrow or buy used.

·  A few exceptions - using the "fair and reasonable person" standard -- i.e., you'll know in your heart when you're rationalizing a violation:
  • food, drink, and necessary medicine (no elective treatments like Viagra or Botox)
  • necessary cleaning products, but not equipment (don't go out and buy the Dyson Animal, for example).
  • socks and underwear (utilitarian--non-couture or ornamental)
  • pajamas for the children
·  Utilitarian services (plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, veterinarians, dog/house-sitters, fire/paramedics, dry cleaners, house cleaners, etc.) -- Support local and encourage used parts (rebuilt transmission, salvaged headlight unit, etc.)

·  Recreational services (massage, etc.) & local artisanal items- Good sources for gifts, but should not be over-indulged in for personal gratification

·  Charitable contributions (SevaHeifer, and the like) - an even better source for gifts

·  Plants and cut flowers - Whenever possible, cultivate from free cuttings or seeds. Ok in extreme moderation when purchased from local businesses (i.e., not the Walmart Garden Shop)--and again, within reason

·  Art supplies - First line of attack: SCRAP. When absolutely necessary (for the professionals and talented amateurs in the group), from local businesses

·  Magazines, newspapers, Netflix - renewals only, no new subscriptions. Even better to consume online

·  V ideo rentals and downloadable music files (non-material)

So...anyone want to join us? Or, what 3 things do you think you could do/change?

Adam, Erin, Hannah and Jill

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