Monday, February 13, 2006

Something I wish I could do

Aside from sing in tune, this is something else I hope I can do at some point in my life.

I sometimes poke fun at the odd things that go down in the Bay Area, but there is so much to love about this place and the people in it. People here are trying to make changes to help improve things for future generations, and I truly respect that.

I read today on about one such group of people called the Compact.

These brave souls have vowed not to buy anything new in 2006. They can buy things used as much as they want, but new purchases are limited to food, health and safety items, and underwear. They have a blog, Yahoo group, and monthly meetings. Members help other members search for things they need, like shower curtains or maps.

This story really resonated with me. If it wasn't for our new addition, I think we could almost swing this. We have purchased a couple of used items for our remodel (sink and bathtub), but I don't know if we could have found enough used paint in the colors we wanted.

I try to do my part in not buying things new all the time. It started in high school when I would frequent the used clothing stores on Telegraph. And Lucas has had lots of hand-me-downs from friends and Hannah's on Solano. When we buy books, we always check the used books first. Berkeley Parents Network has been a great resource, we got a double stroller from there when we needed one for our nanny share.

Things I would have a hard time buying used: shoes, socks, bedding, and towels.

See the above picture of the father and son buying fabric at a 2nd hand store? In the past week, I sent an email to friends to give away that same shirt (see picture at right). I bought it for Kevin many months ago, and he never wore it and said I should give it away. I think that's a little creepy. (The shirt has already been claimed by my brother.)

Here are some excerpts from this story that I find inspiring: From John Perry, who works in marketing at a high-tech company. "We're trying to get off the first-market consumerism grid, because consumer culture is destroying the world."

Says Peter Sealey, adjunct professor of marketing at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and former chief of marketing at Coca-Cola and Columbia Pictures. "It's a crystal-clear statement about what can be done to get us away from being a disposable society."

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