04 April 2006

Do I have it in me to be a Compacter?

I saw an interesting story on “Today” this morning. A group of friends in San Francisco have created the Compact, an agreement that they won’t buy anything new, other than necessities, for all of 2006. They’re battling consumerism, retail therapy, and crowding our planet with unnecessary plastic objects. Their movement is spreading across the globe. Good for them!

What new items can Compacters buy during 2006? Food, health and safety items, and underwear. That’s it. Deodorant: a necessity. Hair gel: an extravagance (they haven’t seen my untamed hair, have they?). Need a new outfit? Head to the thrift store and buy used clothing — but don’t buy used underwear (I don’t think we need to discuss why new panties are allowed). Exceptions to the shopping ban are discussed and listed on the group’s blog.

I’m intrigued — and, after my recent salon splurge, it might not be a bad idea. I’m not going to attempt 365 days of a necessities-only existence — goals, after all, should be achievable — but I’m curious to see if I can go a full month without buying anything new. No baubles. No books. No cute summer sandals. No (gulp) CDs or MP3s. Thirty days with what I own and the sustenance I need to survive.

Can I make it? I do, after all, come from a long line of shoppers. It’s in my DNA. Shopping is how we get exercise, how we socialize, how we rationalize our existence. The female side of my clan doesn’t miss a new episode of Isaac Mizrahi’s talk show. We enjoy deep, meaningful discussions about which Stein Mart is the best (the Buckhead store, in my opinion). We're the reason they invented the phrase "born to shop."

But I think I can do it, at least for a month. I’m up for a spring challenge. So … who wants to join me for Compact month in May?

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12 Comments:

At 4/04/2006 10:10:00 PM, Anonymous rcofchs said...

You caught me at the perfect time to stop buy anything except necessities for a month. You see, I just paid the balance due on my taxes and first quarter estimated taxes, so other people are using my money this month.

 
At 4/04/2006 10:11:00 PM, Blogger peppylady said...

I'm a big fan of thrift stores. We American comsume and waste way to much including my self.

 
At 4/04/2006 10:48:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy said...

The internet can make it quite easy to go for longer than a month.

 
At 4/04/2006 10:52:00 PM, Anonymous paul said...

Have fun with that. Let me know how it turns out.

I'm going to the store for new shuttlecocks.

 
At 4/04/2006 11:00:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

RCOFCHS: You have my liberal-hearted sympathies. Are you going to join me in May? I think expensive birthday prezzies are acceptable under the Compact, so make that May 24 list for me, and I can get a bit of a shopping fix.

JEREMY (a.k.a. HOTTIE): Can't even shop online ... that's what scares me and my fingertips.

PAUL: Share your shuttlecocks, OK?

PEPPYLADY: Scroll down to mid-March, and you'll see a photo of my favorite thrift store.

 
At 4/07/2006 06:00:00 PM, Anonymous Gordon said...

Ok. Let's make a bet. Whoever losses gets to pick their prize.

 
At 4/07/2006 06:04:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

You gonna join me on this, Gordon?

 
At 4/09/2006 08:56:00 PM, Anonymous Dayle said...

OK whoa! What about Starbucks? Is that ok to buy it if you bring your own cup to use for the Tall White Chocolate Mocha, nonfat, no whip? I cannot go without my SBUX.

 
At 4/09/2006 09:01:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

I cannot go a month without my Triple Grande Nonfat Latte ... so I'm going to fill my Starbucks card in April to get me through the month. That's my necessity!

 
At 5/25/2006 02:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 5/25/2006 02:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12/19/2006 01:52:00 PM, Anonymous zandria said...

Did you end up going through with it? I think Compacting sounds interesting. I just wrote on the topic myself today. Let me know! I'm interested to hear about your experience. :)

 

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