Jan 4, 2007

Wow, so many people have joined the yahoo group today. In approving some of these requests to join, I was struck by some common motivations and lifestyles among people. And there were some exciting outliers.
- So many moms and dads mentioned in their emails that they want to teach their kids that there's more to life than stuff. That rocks people.
- A few folks mentioned their faith as the genesis of their commitment to reduce attachment to crap. One comment was in particular reference to being a better steward of Earth.
- Again we had folks mentioning the difficulty of living with military budgets. I'd love to hear more from these folks so I can blog about it. Email me.
- We have a new compacter from Indonesia among many other places.

Answering some comment questions:
I have an ibook (G4). Have not gone for the cord yet. I'm still looking for one used.
Regarding linens: Some folks just need to have new bedding I think. I'm cool w/ used. Perhaps that one purchase makes it easier for someone to keep up with the commitment for a longer period of time.
I replaced the helmet. Training for Lifecycle and my family gave me a ton of shit.
Be forgiving of yourself and others. That was one the best sticker I ever saw on a bike. So simple, but really pertinent to my own life.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Help! I need to get in touch with someone from this group! I am a science teacher from Phoenix and we are starting a container deposit bill project....it's overwhelming! I am trying to teach some very OVERprivileged children to understand the importance of responsible consumerism. This proves difficult because their parents are some of the wealthiest Republican consumers our city has to offer and they have been taught that wastefulness is right they have earned. I need to open their eyes in a way that goes beyond abstract. I need real stories of what a life can be like without impulsive shopping. Please help?

Thank you!!
ballard164@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

How fun! I'll put a link to you guys on my blog. We may be starting up a group here in Pensacola,Fl as well. Keep up the good work and don't go too crazy on Jubilee Week!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this will help or not but, this is what I have learned about teaching my own children about too much stuff. I taught religious school at a very ritzy school. The kids all had way too much stuff. Horses, new games and toys every week, you name it trips to other countries..... either way to make a long story short my kids who attended the same school but, did not have the same financial resources started to think they were POOR! Well, we quickly changed that one summer by sending them to volunteer at the Salvation Army where they got to see homeless and abused kids who thought used stuff was the norm and were thankful for it!

Canuckfurby said...

It is wonderful that you are inspiring others to examine their spending habits. It is indeed a lifestyle choice- to a simpler free-er life. My spouse and I agreed to many of these principles when we married (which we learned from our parents)- our family of 4 has a 900 sq.ft house in a rural area (that has bus service, a library and public pool);and a 17 year old car (maintained by me). The tradeoff? I get to be the worker at home- taking care of the children, growing the garden, preserving the food, raising the chickens, keeping up the contacts with the thrift stores, free exchanges,community service groups and scavenging at the local dump.

to anonymous in Phoenix, you have a difficult job. Having had contact with rich young folks, perhaps some of them have parents, grandparents with different values (not being born to wealth )to talk to them. I am reminded of Mother Theresa's conversation with a rich woman addicted to expensive saris. She was very gentle with her and said perhaps she could buy one less sari a month. It was a start.(The woman did end up cutting back her buying habits)

Anonymous said...

My friend and I are also practicing mindful purchasing this calendar year. We just finished the wonderful book by Judith Levine about her 'not buying anything' year. Very inspirational. She brings up good ethical points....windshield wipers for safety, haircuts vs a granola crunchy look (not what we are aspiring to). What is a necessity in our suburban lifestyle?

Anonymous said...

You know what I think? Buy the cord and buy the helmet. It's great that you made the effort to find used (as we all should FIRST) but the whole reason we go to work everyday is to buy the things that we need to sustain the life we live. I joined the group today in the interest of halting my wastefulness, mindless shopping, and slavery to consumerism, however I am not going to get CRAZY about things. Why? Because abstinence is just the flip side of overindulgence - it is obsession and depravity. What you want is responsibility added to partaking - the true definition of Utopia is all good things in moderation. Enjoy your life, just don't overburden the Earth doing it. That's all.

PS: Only brand spanking new linens, underwear, shoes, and hats for me. I love the Earth but catching cooties is not my cup of tea!

Anonymous said...

congratulations on getting all the new members! it is interesting to read about individual motivations. i wonder if you guys should just put a big message at the top of your yahoo group page that says -please join your local group if one is available- i don't know, i was just pondering the dilemma of so many members.

good luck!

Michelle Stephens, Organic Agent said...

Rachel,

I'd love to talk to you about the point you made about the cotton sweater from extraction to retail. Please email me at Michelle@OrganicAgent.com.

Happy New Year!

Michelle Stephens, Organic Agent said...

Rachel,

I'd love to talk to you about the point you made about the cotton sweater from extraction to . Please email me at Michelle@OrganicAgent.com.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

I just came back from a 2-months vacation in Indonesia. My previous Sunday morning habit is to rummage newspaper for coupons (grocery, dept. stores, anything).
After coming back from vacation, it felt liberating not to touch those direct mailings. Plus, I am currently more aware of my consumerism & fighting not to buy as much. It will be hard to resist the January & Feb deeeeep discount offered by the clothing stores. Anyone interested to start a group in Chicago & the surrounding suburbs? I am doing a gradual commitment (3 months, then 6 months, etc).

best,
yuli_anty@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I don't get this. You are basically living like I have for the past 10 years as a musician and grad student. So what? Us less fortunate folks don't get to choose not to buy anything. Nor does most of the world. This disappoints me.

Anonymous said...

i think this is a reallly cool movement. i was however, a little turned off by all the "your full of crap" stuff on the web site...being self righteous about spending/abstaining habits does not get us anywhere! i'm sure you agree.

i am having trouble navigating and figuring out how to get in touch with people locally, any suggestions?

thanks.

rachel said...

regarding the "your full of crap" stuff, is that on the yahoo group? I'm assuming so. To get in touch w/ folks in your area, look in the "Compact Directory" link of the Yahoo group. If there isn't a group in your area, I recommend giving a shout out on the main group, asking folks to respond directly to you and setting one up. Having a group makes it easier.
Having a sense of humor does as well. Pretentiousness is useless.

Regarding the comment about being a grad student/musician: I just finished my BA in May and consider grad school a great privilege, hope to be able to get there myself. Congrats to you, and again, be forgiving of yourself and others, if you can.

Anonymous said...

military budgets and compacting/ poverty

ok people, this says a lot. someone is saying thier military budget necessitates becoming a compacter? I left the military almost 2 years ago, and there wasn't one person who was "poor". Maybe thier lifestyle choices impoverish them, but the payscales for people even with 2 and 3 years and level 4 or 5 grade surpasses my state income BY FAR, not to mention complete medical and tax exempt statuses from deployments

my mid month pay in the service was more than a full time salary in a state job starting out.

but this is part of the journey of self discovery, I too realized this in 2002 and came this way

be well

BigMatt said...

Rachel I am new to the Compact ad figuring out what my own Compact will look like. Something you mentioned caught my eye - are you participating in California Lifecycle? I am also a new participant for that ride and would love to find out if their are other compactors involved.

Laurent Chambon said...

is there any group in the netherlands, belgium of france? loads of people here are interested!