Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mama's on the Compact

While I was reading some other green blogs yesterday I came across this great site called "Mamas on the Compact". It is basically a group of Moms who have pledged that they will buy nothing new for a specific period of time ranging from two months, right up to a year. When I first read this I was thinking it to be near impossible, but you know what I think that I am going to take it on! Obviously there are certain things that have to be bought new like perishable items, toiletries etc, but most other things, well, they can most certainly be bought second hand! It may not be easy at times, but definitely do-able, and it ties in so much to the philosophy of my blog, and the way we are trying to live these days. I have made significant efforts over recent months to reduce the amount of "stuff" I buy. I have been buying mostly second hand, but I do still get those weak moments when I see items on sale at Target.

In order to get started with this, (once I have emailed the lady running it), I need to compose a pledge statement that outlines a few exceptions to the rule of not buying anything new. These are personal to each person, and I already know that one of them will be to buy new shoes for the girls. I am very particular that they get shoes that fit, and that last until they grow. I have a few other things to add as well, and will spend the rest of the day thinking over my pledge. I am excited I love a challenge like this!


Amy said...

I look forward to love to hearing all your tales of second hand shopping. As you know, I do almost all my clothes shopping for the girls at consignment stores. But I really ought to consider them more often for other, home decor, books, etc. Especially with a new home to decorate in the near future!

You've got me wanting to do some thrift store shopping now!

leaner said...

OH! Oh! Oh! I am so excited... that is fan-freakin-tastic! I think I might wait until after this summer, though. Because summer is hard enough, without adding a new lifestyle choice on top of it.
Have you been to "My Sister's Closet" ? Its a used upscale clothes store. (LOOOVE it!)
Oh, and Target gets me, too. The clearance displays on the back aisles? Every time I end up with like twice as much as I went in for... grrr.

Mo said...

It would be great Leaner for someone I "know" to do this as well! I am still working on my pledge. It's really given me a lot to think about! Yes I have been to "My Sister's Closet". There are some really good consignment stores around aren't there?

Esther Montgomery said...

New shoes, new spectacles, new food, new loo-paper.



Mo said...

And new underwear me thinks! Still compiling my pledge and will post it soon. I plan to start July 1st. Are you going to join me too Esther?

Esther Montgomery said...

I nearly said 'new underwear' - but lost my nerve!

I don't think I'll join you 'officially' - in the sense of writing out a pledge - but this is, more or less, how we live anyway, in our family.

Our current challenge, though, is that charity shops here (second hand) are getting out of step, price-wise, with other shops.

On the whole, being green comes easily and naturally when you don't have much money to start with. (Which we don't.)

But there is certainly a challenge creeping in now we have to chose between expensive second-hand clothes and cheap new ones (which also generally have the added advantage that they fit!).

As for objects, we are in the fortunate situation that we have everything we need already.

(This being modest - we don't drink, we don't smoke, we don't have a car, we don't have a tumble drier - we don't have a television - we don't even have a fridge! - we may sound boring but, actually, we are very happy!)


Esther Montgomery said...

p.s. I really hope you get your camera.


Mo said...

Wow Esther, I am impressed! How do you manage without a fridge though? I would imagine that this would be one absolutely necessary item. It doesn't sound at all boring, very interesting actually. I love all self sufficiency related stuff.

I was just thinking that it is actually pretty easy to compact when one has as much already as we do! We really have waaaaay more than we need. More of a challenge would have been to start compacting before we got all the stuff.

Esther Montgomery said...

In Dorset, living without a fridge isn't difficult at all - people here just think it is.

The only thing I miss, really, is not being able to have milk cold in the summer (except when we bring it back from the shop).

Mostly, people use their fridges as an extra cupboard and put things in there that simply don't need to be kept cold . . . or things which lose their flavour in a fridge (like cheese and tomatoes).

Milk would be a problem if we lived in a more rural area and didn't have a local shop.

Similarly, we would need a car if we lived out in the sticks somewhere.

My guess is that fridges are pretty close to essential in Arizona.




Mo said...

Yes, probably the most essential item we have, at least in the summer.

Unlike us Brits, people here like all drinks ice cold as well, so ice cubes are also essential. I still don't add ice it to most drinks for myself. People here think that is very strange and very funny too, kind of like the "warm" beer we drink back home! :)

leaner said...

I was talking to dh about this, and he said YES! This is something he thinks we can do. SO excited. Plus it fits in our reduce category of trying to budget. So I will be working on my mission statement soon, too. Maybe I will start July 1st, too.

Mo said...

Yay Leaner! My hubby is also happy about the budgeting aspect as well. I still haven't heard back from the lady who runs it but plan on placing my pledge here anyway, and the button thingy and starting July 1st. Looking forward to sharing tips! :)

Dagny McKinley said...

What an amazing challenge. I wish you the best of luck with it. I imagine you will have a whole new outlook of consumerism at the end of the challenge.

Dagny McKinley
organic apparel