Sled Dog Skippy

The Compact: Days 1-3

So, if you haven’t heard of The Compact, head over here and here for some primers. If you are lazy or hate to follow links, basic premise: People not buying new stuff. There are some exceptions of course (groceries, medications/medical things, toilet paper, underpants, essential & recreational services). You get the idea. One can thrift, borrow, barter. The Compact was started by some like-minded individuals in San Francisco and their basic manifesto is:

“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;

2) TO REDUCE CLUTTER AND WASTE IN OUR HOMES (AS IN TRASH
COMPACT-ER);

3) TO SIMPLIFY OUR LIVES (AS IN CALM-PACT).”

I’ve wanted to do this for 4 years. I have no idea why it’s taken me this long, but now is the time. HOWEVER….I will be doing this for one month, as a trial. My hope is to document, assess, and continue implementing The Compact in my life beyond this first month. We shall see. I’d rather achieve a month of drastic consumer reduction than set myself up for 365 days of failure where I feel like a total ass if I can’t make it. So there. Baby steps.

Ryan has agreed to do this as well, with a major caveat being: The Compact does not apply to his business, Bigwoofs Technology. He often has to buy new equipment and parts for his clients since the parts in their computers have failed. He does choose the least amount of packaging and does try to get things locally, but that pretty much doesn’t happen 99% of the time (the getting parts locally aspect).

So, bear with me for the next 31 days (and hopefully more) as I document ALL purchases, thrifts, borrowings, barterings, and trades.

DAY 1 (Jan 1, 2010)

Groceries: $134

Yup, this is the tiny amount of groceries we can get for that much muneh in Homer, Alaska. Le sigh. I know it could be much, much, much worse. I am grateful that I can find what I like and need and that I even have money to buy groceries. Please note, most of this is bulk, so lots of those jars have been refilled.

DAY 2 (1-2-10)

Entertainment with new friends: $18

2 games of bowling and 2 pints of local beer afterwards. My arm hurts but it was worth it.

DAY 3 (1-3-10)

Underpants for moi: $69
(nope, I’m not gonna show you a pair of underpants)

Yeah, I freaking spent $69 on underwear. My triumph was that I got FREE shipping from Macy’s because I scoured the interwebz for a free shipping promo code and I found one. Macy’s =0, Skippy = win. This was for 7 pairs. Not bad for fancy pants. And don’t judge; I haven’t bought new undies in a really long time. I don’t want to share how long. Also, I didn’t just buy underpants because I’m “allowed” to under The Compact. I was planning on buying them anyway and was just crossing my fingers that I would receive some holiday $$$ to buy said underpants. Next time I will spend my hard-earned money on Pact underoos, those super-duper conscious awesome underpants (they are so cool that you pick a design based on what charity/organization to which you want to donate). I can’t believe I’ve said this much about underpants.

Entertainment: $9.50

Ryan (and I) get to see movies for free at the Homer Theater–the theater allows Homer Tribune employees (and family) free movies in exchange for advertising. Yay! So the $9.50 was for a mega popcorn, a root beer, and some organic vegan gummi bears (Homer is so progressive for a small town). And yes, The Blind Side was really good. Leigh Anne Tuohy is one of my new heroes.

Many of you (okay, the like, 2 people who read this blog) may be thinking…”well, what about Ebay? Can’t you just buy to your little heart’s content? It’s used stuff, right?” Okay, well, yeah, I could do that. The point of The Compact is to reduce consumption OVERALL. That’s what I want to do. So that’s what I’m trying to do for 31 days. Or more. Over the past year, Ryan and I have definitely experienced what we call “Buy Nothing Weeks” where it was out of financial necessity to only buy grocery and pet food and gas. This isn’t a new concept, just a little more voluntary. Think about it. Maybe you can try it for a day or week or more!

3 Responses to “The Compact: Days 1-3”

  1. Kristin McCormick says:

    I like this. We were doing this involuntarily for about three weeks (we got kicked in the butt hard financially) and now it seems to have become a habit. We haven’t bought anything new for a month. Now, I think I need to look at my grocery list and see where I can cut back on plastic too. I look forward to seeing how you do and how much plastic you can cut back.

  2. MK says:

    Fabulous, dahling! I know you can do it!

  3. Kim says:

    Hey Skippy.
    First of all, thanks for the idea of the gratitude journal. I’ve started one, and can already see the results, especially how its reduced my obsessive crazy teacher dreams! Yippy!
    Also, I am going to give The Compact a try, maybe a month at a time. Although, in Turkey second-hand goods/shops are nearly impossible to find, except for furniture, which we don’t need anyway. Regardless, I am going to try to buy nothing but the food, cleaning/hygiene stuff, and some extravagances like the occasional beer. I feel liberated already by my lack of shopping! Good luck in your quest against consumption! ;-)

    ps. I love reading your blog. You’re full of good ideas and I am fascinated by your Alaskan life! Smooches!

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>