The Compact: Buy Nothing New for a Year (Or Two)

Migrated Image

The small San Francisco cooperative that calls themselves "The Compact" (we first covered them ten months ago), who pledged not to buy anything new (almost) for an entire year has followed their mantra for 356 days. The only new products allowed by The Compact are food and bare necessities for health and safety -- things like toilet paper, brake fluid & underwear -- in their effort to go without buying anything new; everything else comes from TreeHugger faves like FreeCycle, Craigslist, thrift stores and even dumpsters, and their idea is making big waves. Publications from Yoga Times to Martha Stewart's Body + Soul to the London Times picked up on the story, and even Oprah's producers called. Interestingly, all the media has caused a bit of a backlash against the movement. "I think it upsets people because it seems like we're making a value judgment about them," says Shawn Rosenmoss, an environmental engineer and original Compactor, who has two children. "When we're simply trying to bring less...into our house." Still, the group has attracted 1,800 people to their Yahoo! group and has spawned SubCompact cells operating across the country. The group has found it enlightening enough to extend the pledge another year. "We didn't do this to save the world. We did this to improve the quality of our own lives," says John Perry, another original Compactor; said like that, it's easy to see why they don't want to stop. ::The Compact Yahoo! Group, ::Compact blog via ::Washington Post