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The Compact: Month 1

each mistake teaches us something In January, challenged by Katy of The NonConsumer Advocate, I committed to a perfection-avoiding modified version of The Compact.

I promised not to buy anything new for an entire year. The perfection-avoiding modifications are necessary so as to avoid me sitting naked in the compost pile.

The modifications are:

  • Buying used (with the exception of underwear and socks — because used undies? Ewww.)
  • Buying from locally owned businesses whenever possible
  • Making do with what we have as much as possible
  • Choosing gifts for friends from local businesses, individual artisans, or companies that benefit others in some way
  • And I reserve the right to purchase a new computer this year, if the need arises and mine rolls over and plays dead.

Basically, my mantra has become:

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
(And if you can’t do that, then buy local)

January was a mostly successful month.

I needed a soap dish and found a delightful one on the first day of looking at my local thrift shop.

Thing One needed jeans without holes in the knees for job searching. Can’t look like a ragamuffin and land a job, can you? He visited The Goodwill and came away with two pairs he likes just fine for less than $14.

Otherwise, everything we bought was consumable or medical/safety in nature. With one exception.

And I didn’t even realize it at the time.

I bought a brand new birthday card. At Target. And I didn’t even choose one of the recycled ones.


But, in a moment of perfection-avoiding calm, after a deep breath, I said to myself, “Well, next time we’re downtown, let’s stop by that lovely local shop and pick up a few birthday cards to keep on hand.”

A lesson learned. A plan formulated. A step in the right direction.

If you’re a Compact-er, how are you doing on your commitment?

Photo Credit: Sooperkuh

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