borrow, barter & buy used


Who?  What?  Why?  Well, I’ll tell you.  I have challenged my family to live one year without buying anything new.  No, that doesn’t mean we can’t go shopping.  It just means we aren’t adding to the overloaded consumer market.  It’s called The Compact.  Yes, I know it’s an age old concept of using flea markets, thrift stores and growing your own but this particular fountainhead is the brainstorm of a group of friends in San Francisco that decided to take recycling to the next level.  I had heard about their resolution several times but I was recently reminded of it and it just seemed to resonate as the right time to take the test for myself.  My family’s just along for the ride.  They think they agreed but it would have happened anyway.  Don’t tell them I said that.

So if that’s not enough I can give you a little more why I guess.  Let me think.  Why?  I love a challenge.  I think it’s a good idea to step back and look at how much stuff we buy and why.  I want to see if there are any good thrift stores in my area.  I want to change the world.  Okay, that was just to see if you were still paying attention.  I only want to change my impact on the world.  Baby steps.  Literally.  My baby has no idea what he’s in for.  Good thing he’s too young to want everything he sees just yet.  And as a bonus I will have that many fewer trips to Target with an over-tired, hungry, cranky child.  I am a little bummed about a year with no trips to Ikea though.  Actually I wonder how I will make it.  But I guess that’s just another why.

What can we buy?  The basics include food, health and safety.  So we still get to eat.  And that includes eating out.  Which is good because I need real pizza.  We also get to buy new underwear.  And socks.  Those are “health” purchases.  If you don’t agree don’t tell me.  It works for me.  My head spins trying to figure out everything that can be categorized as health and safety.

If you wonder about my sanity you’re not alone.  But I don’t care.  My family knows and they love me anyway.  If you want to see where this ride takes us feel free to check in on the progress here.  And wish me luck!


2 Comments to “borrow, barter & buy used”

  1. I love this idea. keep us posted. I have a lot of great clothes for your son to help you along the way. 🙂

  2. Thanks Sandra! It should make for an interesting year. As if it wouldn’t have been anyway!

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