Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Compact: An Anti-Consumerism Movement

I just read an article on the about an organization called "The Compact," founded only one year ago in San Francisco (naturally) and now having chapters all over the world. Members take a pledge not to buy anything new for one year, excepting only food, medicine, underwear and cleaning products.

Here's a good article about it.

The Compact's aims are, according to their website:
  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. -- a step, 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)
I like this idea very much. I'm not saying that I'm ready to make this pledge just yet. I think it might be more difficult in Panama, where non-packaged bulk goods are not available as far as I know, thrift stores are rare, recycling centers are absent, and there's no or anything like it.

But from now on, before I buy something new I'll ask myself, "Do I really need this? Can I repair the one I have? Can I get another one used?"

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