June Extreme Challenge

>> Thursday, June 3, 2010

Another month, another extreme challenge!

Buy Nothing New

Have you all heard of The Compact? They're a group of people who pledge to buy nothing new for a year. Be happy I'm not asking you to go that extreme, but we will be following their rules, which are:
As agreed, The Compact has several aims (more or less prioritized below):

1) to go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of U.S. consumer culture, to resist global corporatism, and to support local businesses, farms, etc. -- a step, we hope, inherits the revolutionary impulse of the Mayflower Compact

2) to reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er)

3) to simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact)

So, here goes for the rules:

First principle - don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)
Second principle - borrow or buy used.

A few exceptions
- using the "fair and reasonable person" standard -- i.e., you'll know in your heart when you're rationalizing a violation:
  • food, drink, and necessary medicine (no elective treatments like Viagra or Botox)
  • necessary cleaning products, but not equipment (don't go out and buy the Dyson Animal, for example).
  • socks and underwear (utilitarian--non-couture or ornamental) pajamas for the children
  • Utilitarian services (plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, veterinarians, dog/house-sitters, fire/paramedics, dry cleaners, house cleaners, etc.) -- Support local and encourage used parts (rebuilt transmission, salvaged headlight unit, etc.)
  • Recreational services (massage, etc.) & local artisanal items - Good sources for gifts, but should not be over-indulged in for personal gratification
  • Charitable contributions(Seva, Heifer, and the like) - an even better source for gifts
  • Plants and cut flowers - Whenever possible, cultivate from free cuttings or seeds. Ok in extreme moderation (yo, incoming oxy) when purchased from local businesses (i.e., not the Target Garden Shop)--and again, within reason
  • Art supplies - First line of attack: SCRAP. When absolutely necessary (for the professionals and talented amateurs in the group), from local businesses
  • Magazines, newspapers, Netflix - renewals only, no new subscriptions. Even better to consume online Video rentals and downloadable music files (non-material) -- freely shared and legal, please
My family will be doing our best to buy nothing new this month, even while we take a trip to the beach this weekend and to Tennessee later this month. Can we do it? We're going to try our best!

Will you accept the June Extreme Challenge to buy nothing new for a month? Let me know in the comments what your family will be doing.


You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! Check out the last challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays. Sign up for my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, and join my "Go Green without Going Broke" group on Facebook!


Loulou,  June 3, 2010 at 9:42 PM  

Yeah! We are BROKE at the moment, facing ruin due to urgent dental work >:( so i've decided to buy nothing in June. I haven't told anyone at work, but because of months of accumulated goodwill (from bringing yummy baked goods, clothes that are beautiful but no longer fit me, and excess garden produce to the office) I receive free coffees, garden goodies, clothes and other random bits pretty often.

I've gone back to my student mindset (ie eat rice and potatoes); sold stuff on ebay (someone bought a CD for $12- i got it for $7 originally!); and am challenging my sewing skills as i am not allowed to buy any clothes :)

Go for it!

Wonder-ful June 4, 2010 at 1:39 AM  

I'm in. The only way I can see possibly giving in is date night (highly unlikely...but you never know) and he's trying not to spend money either (like me, putting extra dough toward paying off student loans).

Robbie June 6, 2010 at 11:50 AM  

Sure I'm in. Granted, I bought some birthday party things last month, but I'll "behave" this month!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper June 6, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

We've gone on one trip so far this month and ended up having to stop at a Walmart to get some emergency parts for our car. But so far that's the only thing we've bought - pretty good I think!

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