Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Melinda's 6 Month Compacting Pledge

Posted on my blog on 20 Oct.

I almost can't believe I'm doing this... I've been considering it for about three months. A friend of mine did 12 months, a whole year, of compacting which is where I first heard of it.

Compacting - The Compact has several aims more or less prioritized below:
  • 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.
  • To reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-or).
  • To simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact) . (Copied from Mama's on the Compact)
I have decided to Compact as part of an on-going project to declutter our home, to make it easier to keep clean, find things, be more organised. As part of a simpler way of living, because we are all so caught up in buying 'stuff' rather than being frugal and reducing, reusing and recyling. Our world can't handle the affluenza that is overtaking it. We are also as a family starting a "Money Makeover" and paying in cash for any purchases, keeping to a strict budget, and concentrating on clearing our debts. This Compact will support that.

So I am pledging that for the next six months, with the exceptions below, I will not purchase anything new. I will reuse, recycle, buy second-hand or go without.

My Compact starts from today, 20 Oct 07, and is for six months which ends 20 Apr 08.

My exceptions are: I can purchase thread, notions etc to complete craft and sewing projects, provided I already have a minimum of 80% of the items required here already. This includes paying for framing of some of my embroideries that will be completed in the next few months.

I can purchase my normal magazines, two quarterlies and one monthly craft mag, plus one environmental gardening magazine. These are used regularly as resources and inspiration, and read constantly!

I can purchase the fabric to make a skirt that I have been planning for the last two months. I saw a gorgeous skirt in a shop, priced at just under $200 and decided that I could make it easily. I haven't had time yet, so I'm giving myself permission to buy the fabric (probably under $30!) when I have enough time to make it.

Christmas presents. In the interest of saving my sanity, I am making an exception for buying Christmas presents. At this time, Christmas is two months away, I am completing assessments for a course I am graduating from in early december, working part time, looking for full time work for next year and preparing for an interstate move in early january. I will attempt to buy from Fair Trade, Cottage Industry and Local Artisans. I also have several presents already purchased, which does make this a bit easier!

When I start work next year (assuming I find work) I can purchase up to two pairs of suitable shoes.

I should also add that Eddie and Dian are NOT compacting. They can still buy new. This will be an interesting six months!

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