January 9, 2007

The Compact - Will U Join?

The Compact started out last year as a Yahoo Group comprised of a group of folk out in San Francisco who decided not to buy anything new for one year. These ten people, coming from a variety of fields (e.g., teacher, engineer, dog handler), named their project "the Compact." They began the Yahoo chatroom with their mission statement: to live off the consumer grid for one year.

They've done it. And they're doing it again for 2007. And, in doing so, they've made Time magazine (read the article online here) as well as built the Yahoo Group into several thousand members - and inspired new Compact groups to form around the country.

The Compact has several aims, according to the Yahoo Group homepage:

1. 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.
2. To reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er).
3. To simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact)

"We've agreed to follow two principles (see exceptions etc. on our blog).
#1 Don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)
#2 Borrow, barter, or buy used."

The chatroom has very heavy traffic, and lots of good info. Some folk are more stringent than others: today, a woman admitted she won't give up her high-speed internet, for example.

It's definitely a good idea to check the "daily digest" option should you join the group: your inbox can get over 40 Compact emails an hour otherwise. Joining is free, of course.

For more information, check out the Group itself as well as the Compact's blog overseen by one of the group's founders -- Rachel, the dog handler.

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