Saturday, January 1, 2011

Buying nothing new for a year

This is something we have been talking about for awhile. Today we went to the “Mall of America” in Bloomington, MN for our last day of buying stuff we don’t really need. I gave each of my kids $10 to buy whatever they wanted. The 4 year old found a stuffed animal at the Disney store, the 8 year old bought gum and a few magic tricks, and the 11 year old bought a Nerf hoop. All stuff that will most likely find its way to the dump in 2-3 years.

Can we not buy anything new for a whole year? Probably not, at least we are going to need to make some exceptions at we go about our year.


For this plan this succeed there needs to be some exceptions to buying nothing new. Here is my starter list, I am sure it will morph as we go through our year.

Here are the guidelines set forth by the Compact:

1) to go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of western consumer culture, to resist global corporatism, and to support local businesses, farms

2) to reduce clutter and waste in my home

3) to simplify my life

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

necessary cleaning products, but not equipment

socks and underwear

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– an even better source for gifts

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

· Magazines, newspapers, Netflix, Quikflix -Consume online, borrow from library.

Away we go, I will update as often as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment