Feb 8, 2006

Recent Queries


Here's a list of recent queries and the responses that the group tossed around--also some random tips and reminders thrown in:

-- What about new shoes for children and folks whose professional lives call for a great deal of walking (i.e., dogwalkers):

Acceptable as needed. The shoe exception has been made to support health and safety. It's not a loophole to buy Manolos. (And some of us throw orthopedic concerns to the wind for ourselves and our children, purchasing "like-new" used shoes. )

-- What about purchases required by our jobs or businesses?

Acceptable when necessary, but this exception should not be seen as an free pass to transact simply for the sensation.

-- Remember: Buying local is critical and should be followed whenever possible.

-- Tip: Food & wine are okay for gifts if you choose not to go for services or charitable donations. But food & wine are an important opportunity to shop & support local.


Supporter said...

ummm...this is kinda strange, our culture is beautiful because we have the freedom to buy stuff, i dont think this is smart, a good idea, or going to make a difference. (sigh...w/e...free choice for all!)

Chris said...

Obviously stuff has to be new at some time. Without a coherent message about this it looks like you're just expecting other people to buy things first. perhaps you need to be saying something more like "Only companies should purchase new cars, private individuals should pickup secondhand from ex-fleet sales etc." Where do you expect your secondhand stuff to come from?

Supporter said...

Oh, and btw, in the interest of free speach, etc (other liberal causes) I THINK YOu SHOULD ALLOW ANONYMOUS POSTING AND NOT REMOVE COMMENST) just a thought

gurgly said...

I just heard about y'all through BoingBoing and just wanted to tell you what a great thing I think you're doing. Regardless of whether it actually changes the scope of production, which of course is basically impossible, the very act of choosing an identity other than "consumer" for yourself makes a difference in your own lives. Cheers!

fiftyRX3 said...

Hey there, just wanted to give a shout out to your group. Two people emailed me today about you. I have a personal project to photograph what I wear everyday and try to average 50% sustainability for 2006.... without sacrificing style! Most of the 50% is reused. I am hoping to buy more environmentally friendly fabrics when buying new and support the companies I believe in. I highlight these companies and designers in my blog. I wish you guys good luck!!

fiftyRX3 said...

p.s. I am also feeling a technology free week coming up... realistically I cannot go a year, but I want to analyze how integrated technology has become in my life. admittedly a love/hate relationship!

rknox said...

With the lifetime average costs for automobile ownership and operation now racing past $500,000 (for merely average automobiles), carfree or carless is perhaps the better way to go... of if one must have one, save the substantial new-car depreation costs by buying used or pre-owned.

whether we drive big or small, a little or a lot , or not at all...

"Have you told the auto industry to make cleaner air vehicles? Recently?"
are questions we all should be asking each other more often...

... above all is the air ... what goes around, comes around ...

Tell auto makers to make cleaner air vehicles... to save our breath, lives,
money & planet...

Help conservatives conserve:

Toward a saner, greener and more peaceful future,
Carlessnesshood 101 - Save Your Breath, Life, Money & Planet..

whirdly said...

I totally get it and think it's a great idea. We should all try to reign in our consumerism in sone way.

MetaMind said...

Here are some resources for ride sharing:




A. ALCORN said...

Wow! I am totally blown away and very excited at what you all are doing and have done. I am a high school oceanography and Environmental Science teacher in San Diego and I read the SF Gate online every AM. I am really excited to share your philosophies with my students.
Do you know of any SoCal contingent to your group? I am intrigued at adopting your principles but am guessing I'm gonna need some support!
So glad you are who you are,
Anna Alcorn

Fred said...

Congratulations on the Chronicle article!

An excellent resource you are probably already aware of is The Simple Living Network: http://www.simpleliving.net/

The forums there are an excellent resource.

Have a great day,

Fred Ecks

bug said...

i recycle my daughters clothing, toys, books, and gear through my store, called bug. it's opening in glen park march 10. any 'compact' members with kids can have a discount when they shop at bug. email me at glenparkbug@mac.com to get on the discount mailing list (private! i promise.) Much respect, ya'll.

HappyDogSanctuary said...

I see a problem with books, CDs and DVDs of artists you support. If you don't support them by buying their stuff new, they can't continue to create new art. I think you should continue to buy their stuff if it's worthy, but probably not collectible marketing gimmicks.

As for magazines, the same thing applies. You should support the magazines you want to see continue by buying their magazines -- however, I think that rather than trashing them when you're done, you should make every effort to find them a good new home. I leave mine in a community area at work and soon they're gone.

george said...

Completamente de acuerdo con lo que dicen los comentaristas. Hay algunos puntos que faltan:
Se debe olvidar de la moda de:
- tener siempre el ultimo modelo de todo (todavia sirve lo anterior)
- superar el vecino
- conducir el coche mas potente que el del otro
- tener la casa mas grande que los de al lado
- etc.
Esta lista se podria alargar, pero lo mas importante es reducir y estar contento con lo que tienes.
Saludos de Spain

Patti said...

This is an awesome idea. I'm starting now. I have always been a recyler and a simplifier, 'nothing new' will be something new. I'll blog in with reports and ideas as they come. Yard sale season should be fun.

King Sausage said...

Great idea! I am trying to live off the "grid" as much as possible.
Every little thing helps.Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have to give those of you who have the money to consume some major kudos. You see, a lot of us just don't have the money to consume. We have had to be really "wise" with our money and our choices out of plain necessity. When you limit yourself to necessity and then make wise choices it's a lot easier.

Again, I applaud your efforts and wish that more people would adopt this way of thinking. If it's too extreme, try modifying it within reason. Make it work for you so that it's enjoyable. That's what it's really about. Being creative and resourceful can really change the way you view life! It also sets a great example for your children and gives them a positive and healthy roadmap for the future.

Anonymous said...


While I laud your efforts, I wonder about your methods. Have you considered the fact that the problem stems from desire? The market economy is neutral, our desire is what makes it so evil. A lot of the posting I see here points to this. There are the deniers ( check out Bill Talens site for some real good examples of this in the email he gets ) and there are the obsessors. Are you wringing your hands wondering if the purchase of a "new" show curtain will break your pledge? Then you're still stuck in that sticky black mollassas chessboard of American Consumer Lifestyle, my friend... because the products still hold sway over you. Like a dry drunk, all you can think about is how good/bad that next drink could be. If you want to break the cycle and truly change things, focus on the desire to consume and what is at the root of it. Work on that, and the consumption will stop. The "crash diet" of compaction is a good exercise to show the sufferer the scope of the problem, but like all crash diets it won't get and keep you healthy. How about that for your next blog post, ask "why do I need to overconsume".

dougm said...

What about purchasing software that you download to your computer from a e-commerce site? I think that if I "got" the same program used - it might be illegal.

City Hippy said...

Yeehaa! You guys were in the Carnival of the Green today! You guys rule! Keep up the good work!



mckenna said...

Aloha from Maui...

I lived in SF for over a decade before moving here in 1986. Believe me when I say: an Island is no place for recycling!

Therefore, I have been saying to my fellow Mauians for nearly 20 years...

REDUCE REUSE (recycle only if you must)and rethink everything you buy.

And I am the domain owner and webmaster of STOPrecycling.com and just had to share!

Thanks for this amazingly smart effort! I am going to consider trying to start something like this here. But!!!! Alas...our resources for alternative shopping is VERY limited...I really do not think I could follow your principals here. At least not fully - I am very encouraged however by what you are doing.

Repairs of common items is nearly impossible and more exotic stuff...forget about it. For example, we have only one (!) shoe repair shop on the entire island! And no one who does TV repair! (Thankfully our 15 year old TV still works fine and lots of "old" tv's show up for nearly free at thrift shops when the time comes)

Any thoughts about "non-bay area" (backwoods) compliance rules?


Anonymous said...

Couple of questions.

Can you use the Blogger settings to enable the RSS feed for this weblog?

What are your thoughts on digital music purchases? That's new but contains no packaging. In fact, it's only on my Mac and iPod - so there's no plastic packaging just for the music.

I'd question the 'new' policy on most things digital. For example: I can purchase software upgrades (or new titles) for download only - so the manual and software are digital files only. Again, no packaging. Ideas on digital purchases?

Maya said...

Way to go, compacters! You guys are leading the path for others to follow...it takes this kind of revolution to make a big change, right? Good luck and I'll be supporting you from France...(I'll be writing about you soon to promote less consumption). Cheers to all who participate...you guys are bravehearts!

Anonymous said...

Haven't any of you damned fools ever heard of Goodwill or the Salvation Army?

Or do they just not have those in San Francisco? That's very obviously the only part of the world that matters, so if there aren't any there I can see how you'd miss it.

Anonymous said...

Goodwill/Salvation Army (me) commenter's email is aaron acephalo us. Lay it on me, I'm sure it'll be hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I think you guys are doing a great job. Mindless consumerism is the ideology du jour, whether it is recognized or not. Personally I just try to live low on the food chain: I belong to a car co-op, I walk or take transit where possible ( I live in a large city ) and I reduce, reuse and recycle. I'm getting ready to make a bigger plunge and thinking how cool it would be to set up a group here in Vancouver B.C. Power to you.

Humility Cooper said...

In response to Supporter's post about REMOVAL OF COMMENTS... has it occurred to you that there might be another reason for removing the comments? Blog spam is a growing problem. Blog spam occurs when somebody posts a comment in your blog like, "love your blog! Come visit mine!" with a link to their own blog or website, invariably commercial in nature. There is software that will spam you automatically whenever you post a new item. I was getting so much of that garbage that I had to turn on the "type the characters" feature to verify that the post was not automated.

Kate said...

are there any russian speakers taking part in this? i work as a producer for the bbc russian service in London and we'd like to interview someone in russian for our radio show about the "necessities only" project. if anyone is interested, i'd appreciate it if you could contact me by e-mail (kate.peevor@bbc.co.uk) or on these numbers: +44 7932 899 762 / +44 207 557 2283.

Many thanks!


Kate said...

are there any russian speakers taking part in this? i work as a producer for the bbc russian service in London and we'd like to interview someone in russian for our radio show about the "necessities only" project. if anyone is interested, i'd appreciate it if you could contact me by e-mail (kate.peevor@bbc.co.uk) or on these numbers: +44 7932 899 762 / +44 207 557 2283.

Many thanks!


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