Not buying new

I keep coming back with curiosity to the group (Compact) that commits to a year without buying new products. It fascinates me economically and is in line with where I’ve been heading (buying local & used). This would be taking the next natural step & cut out big box. I hope it would further distance me from the shopping impulse.

This is what they say:
“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.
To reduce clutter and waste in our homes.
To simplify our lives.

We’ve agreed to follow two principles:
#1 Don’t buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.) with some exceptions below.
#2 Borrow, barter, or buy used.”

They have exceptions listed here. They are: Food, drink, necessary medicine, cleaning products, socks & underwear, pjs for kids, services (utilitarian, recreational & local artisanal items), charitable contributions, plans, cut flowers, art supplies, and subscriptions on renewal only. Some choose to eat out once a week or add in other exceptions.

I’m not sure we are quite ready for this yet but maybe it is easier than I think. I keep thinking about how parents look at me with fascination when I say that I read but the answer is simply I don’t watch TV. Perhaps this is just as simple?


  • January 28, 2013 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

    It’s not that hard to make significant cutbacks.

    First step is to use cash only. That will give you a bit more pause time before you purchase anything.

    Don’t go into stores as a time-filler.

    Keep a journal of your “work-arounds”, the success stories you have in avoiding purchases.

    Set up some mental categories for assessing purchases, e.g., Can’t Live Until Next Week Without It, Can Wait a Month, Nice But Not Necessary. Put a brightly-colored card with your categories in your wallet next to your cash, so you’re reminded each time you go to pay for something.

    Think up some other purpose for the money you save: a whopper donation to a non-profit, a vacation, a fabulous date with your honey.

    And be content if you aren’t as successful as you want to be; it’s all progress, and progress is good.

  • admin
    January 29, 2013 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much Julia! These are very useful tips!!

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