Monday, January 21, 2008

The Compact: ask yourself, "Do I really need a new fondue set?"

A group of friends has joined together and formed The Compact, committing to "a 12-month flight (calendar year 2008) from the consumer grid. Their intention is to go beyond recycling to counteract the negative global environment of disposable consumer culture.

To reduce clutter and waste in their homes (as in trash Compact-er).
To simplify their lives (as in Calm-pact).

They've agreed not to buy new products of any kind, whether from stores or web sites, instead will borrow, barter and buy used items. And, no, they're not being sponsored by Craigslist, Goodwill or e-bay, but are acting according to their own consciences and consciousness. The Compact is not a religion or cult. They will buy groceries and bare essentials, but suggest if you're inspired by this program, you tailor it to your own needs.

If you suspect they're in northern California, give yourself ten points. I'm a New Yorker, steps away from seductive boutiques and art galleries. In the commercial space of our building, they sell puppies and fancy paper, making my cutting back that much more virtuous.

Yes, I'm a few weeks late but have bought nothing since the beginning of the year except for some Spanx, tummy-firming pantyhose, so I've almost been onboard, however unwittingly. Luckily, I've been extravagant in my indulgences and have enough make-up, clothing and kitchen appliances to take me well into the next decade.

Anyone interested? If so, please find me and let me know what you'd like to barter or trade for a selection of old Skitch Henderson and Jerry Lewis records, rhyming dictionaries and outdated Zagats.