Jan 23, 2006

Kyoto Christmas (or Birthday)

Compacter RK created a very cool way to dodge holiday consumerism this past year with "Kyoto Christmas." She explains, "This year I'm not buying gifts but giving out coupons for the environment instead. This means that I'm doing something positive for the planet (and every living thing on it) in honor of the recipient.... Folks are getting into it so it becomes like Kyoto [global summit and treaty--get it?], we exchange credits for shower time, meat consumption, car usage, etc."

RK may compile a list of the clever "treaties" struck between Kyoto Christmas participants.

Recycled Art Show at SF Dump

Team Compact,

The Art Show at the Dump last Friday was awesome. The work by the latest resident artist was really terrific, and he assesmbled a huge array of found objects that he didn't use. The crowd at the opening was encouraged to scavenge through his cast-offs, and Ben came home with two red metal Tonka fire trucks (direct from our childhoods). Very cool.

We'd love to get a group together for a tour of the Dump Sculpture Garden (third Saturday of the month)--so maybe a Compact tour preceded or followed by lunch on Saturday, Feb. 25?

Jan 20, 2006

What About Wiper Blades?

Hey there compactors -I've been enjoying all the "chatter"We are the kind of security threats that Bush should be spying on - if our movement grows we could take this country down.But on a more realistic note - I need new windshield wiper blades. Does that count as a consumable item like shampoo?

Even When Traveling

From a new Compacter:

I'm preparing for a backpacking trip in Joshua Tree and procurring the necessities has been easy enough w/o buying anything new, and simply borrowing in many cases. Just need some maps but I have good lead on that.

Jan 6, 2006

What about eBay?

Question: This brings up the question – are things available through eBay that are advertised as “New” actually compact-friendly? Certainly it isn’t promoting the construction of new mega-stores, but…

One answer:
Good question. I tend to think of this as a slippery slope (particularly eBay and Amazon "new and used.") Maybe we can set some kind of standard specifying that the seller through these venues must be a private citizen and not a retailer (?)

Shower curtain

-Rob and I have an extra still-wrapped shower curtain liner (pretty low-end) that we can give you! Just need to retrieve from Caz this weekend.
or, if this hadn't been true...
-eBay search on "shower curtain liner" -- here's just one example that came back.
-to avoid cost of postage, tax, etc., enter a WANTED email on freecycle

Glad you're compacting! I need to circulate my impressions/findings of posting giveaways on Freecycle after a couple of experiences this past weekend.
Let's organize a post-month-one potluck at our place--How's Sunday, Feb 5, work?

New Year's Resolution

Greetings, Compact-wegians,
Tomorrow is the start of our 12-month flight from the consumer grid. To aid us all in getting started and sticking to the regime, I've compiled the guidelines we set in stone at our great dinner a few weeks back.
As agreed, The Compact has several aims (more or less prioritized below):
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)
So, here goes for the rules:
  • First principle - don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)
  • Second principle - borrow or buy used.
  • A few exceptions - using the "fair and reasonable person" standard -- i.e., you'll know in your heart when you're rationalizing a violation:
    • food, drink, and necessary medicine (no elective treatments like Viagra or Botox)
    • necessary cleaning products, but not equipment (don't go out and buy the Dyson Animal, for example).
    • socks and underwear (utilitarian--non-couture or ornamental)
    • pajamas for the children
  • Utilitarian services (plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, veterinarians, dog/house-sitters, fire/paramedics, dry cleaners, house cleaners, etc.) -- Support local and encourage used parts (rebuilt transmission, salvaged headlight unit, etc.)
  • Recreational services (massage, etc.) & local artisanal items - Good sources for gifts, but should not be over-indulged in for personal gratification
  • Charitable contributions (Seva, Heifer, and the like) - an even better source for gifts
  • Plants and cut flowers - Whenever possible, cultivate from free cuttings or seeds. Ok in extreme moderation (yo, incoming oxy) when purchased from local businesses (i.e., not the Target Garden Shop)--and again, within reason
  • Art supplies - First line of attack: SCRAP. When absolutely necessary (for the professionals and talented amateurs in the group), from local businesses
  • Magazines, newspapers, Netflix - renewals only, no new subscriptions. Even better to consume online
  • V ideo rentals and downloadable music files (non-material) -- freely shared and legal, please
      Some resources
      For fresh produce:
      • Terra Firma (like The Box, but community supported agriculture, entirely sourced from Yolo County farms.)
      For secondhand purchases and for recycling/donating:
      For spiritual support and guidance
      Please pool other great sources you find this year.