Welcome to the I'm Not Buying It challenge with Greenhab!
Our family has done a bit of "compacting" (not buying anything new) off and on over the past 3 years. My first compacting experience was with Mamas on the Compact which, from what I can tell, is now defunct. I've also joined our local compacting group on Yahoo, although there's not much action there either. After much thought, we've decided to try a 6 month compact, beginning January 1st, and host it right here at Greenhab. I hope you'll join in!
If you're not familiar with the compacting term or theory, it's basically a pledge to not buy anything new for a set period of time. Compacting will save you money first and foremost. It will help you to detox from your consumer tendencies - even if you're not a big shopper to begin with. It will shed light on need vs. want. It will help you to lighten your environmental impact. And it will give you more time to spend with friends and family.
Compacting began in San Francisco in 2006 when a group of friends challenged each other to not buy anything new for a period of 12 months. According to the main Yahoo group~
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)
#1 Don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)
#2 Borrow, barter, or buy used.
The thing I love about compacting is that you can make your own rules. If you want to make exceptions for gifts or kids clothes or eating out, then do it. If you want to go hard-core and have no exceptions at all, then you can do that too. You can take the challenge for a year, or a month, or do it for one week each month. It's all up to you! You decide what you want to get out of it (saving money, reducing your consumer tendencies, being kinder to the environment), then set your own rules.
Our personal goal is simple: Buy nothing new for a period of 6 months.
- Socks & underwear - We're pretty well stocked on these anyway, so it shouldn't be an issue.
- Eating out - We don't eat out a lot anyway, but Mr. Greenhab feels that it should be okay for us to dine out once in awhile, especially considering the money we'll be saving by not shopping. I think it would be nice to limit this to locally owned and operated restaurants...we'll see who wins out on this.
I'm a bit worried how we'll handle gifts. We don't have an abundance of birthdays or holidays coming up, but the kids do get invited to many of their classmates' parties and other things come up from time to time. I think our gift chain will look something like this:
- Buy used (ebay, thrift)
- Handmade by me
- Handmade by someone else (Etsy, etc.)
- Purchase from a local, non-chain store
- Purchase fair trade
Would you like to commit to not buying it? If so, think about what you want your pledge to be, then post about it in the comments section below. If you have a blog, feel free to write about I'm Not Buying It and leave a link to your post.
Together we can share our tips, troubles and triumphs, save money and the environment.
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