Daily Archive for June 17th, 2008

Compacting: Halfway through 2008

About a year ago, I heard about The Compact

The Compact has several aims (more or less prioritized below):
* To go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of disposable consumer culture and to support local businesses, farms, etc. — a step that, we hope, inherits the revolutionary impulse of the Mayflower Compact.
* To reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er).
* To simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact)

We’ve agreed to follow two principles (see exceptions etc. on our blog).
#1 Don’t buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)
#2 Borrow, barter, or buy used.

Because the “larger” Compact list was too “noisy,” smaller, locally-focused lists began to form and I formed the Los Angeles area Compact group

Here is my update for mid-way through 2008…

This list has been quiet, so I thought I’d check in and see how people have been doing in 2008 to reduce the amount of “new” stuff we bring into our houses?

How have we all done?

I will admit, that I have not done well this year… my downfall has been electronics!

1) New LCD monitor: my old 21″ CRT broke; I was using an small 15″ CRT until my family bought me a new LCD monitor to replace. (In all reality, if I hadn’t received this as a gift, I’d probably have broken down and bought one myself.)

2) New scanner: I bought a new double-sided scanner that automagically turns documents into PDF. I’d been debating on his one, but I really needed to wrangle my paper chaos in my home office… still working on that but I don’t regret the buy… I have been able to recycle and shred a lot of documents that were just taking up a ton of space. The other thing that this scanner has helped me with is starting the process to go paperless with bills and notifications, etc. I’m nowhere near close yet; but my goal is to have as many of my documents kept electronically versus on paper.

3) Guitar Hero guitar: Ok, this was another gift. But I got Guitar Hero 3 for Wii and it came with the guitar. I didn’t feel guilty for getting it (as a gift), but then I realized that now I want another guitar. And the bad thing about the Wii is that I want new stuff for it all the time. I really want a Wii Fit and luckily haven’t found one yet.

4) iPhone: I got this as a gift. But it shouldn’t count as a gift, because I wanted it and mentioned it to a friend. And so he got it for me as a present. Think of it as pretty-consciously dropping a hint; I might as well have purchased it myself.

5) Digital Camera: Ok, ok, what’s with all the gifts? I finished graduate school, so I got a lot of gifts (obviously new). I didn’t expect any gifts… except for this one. I had been wanting a new digital camera but also, my Mom wanted one and she kept asking for my old one. My brother and his gf got me a new digital camera so I could pass my old one down to her. So another new gadget, but the old one is getting good use.

*Kicker) New walking shoes, expensive ones: Ok, these I knowingly bought new because I will be doing some traveling this summer and need good walking shoes. I’m sorry, but I just can’t do used shoes. Some people can and do. I can’t.

Other than that, I’ve done pretty well. No new furniture, only a couple of pieces of new clothing (for very specific events), and no knick-knacks. I haven’t purchased any new DVDs or even new books this year.

So all in all, I don’t think I did too poorly… if only I could figure out how I could curb my apparent addiction to electronical gadgets!!!

So I’ve spilled the beans… how about you?


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