Friday, April 25, 2008

taking the plunge

We are taking the Mamas on the Compact pledge!! Yes I know Walter is not a Mama but since I do the majority of the spending, "Mama" will work just fine and he'll just sort of nod his head in agreeance while I'm off on my newest "thing"!

I have been recently trying to find ways to become a bit more "green". I bought the clothesline, I've started the compost, I plan to garden this summer...why not make it official and pledge to stop consuming so much!

Here goes:1. I am pledging to not buy anything new for a period of two months to begin May 1, 2008.

2. My reasons for doing this - I think I need to learn to be happier with what we have, which let's face it, is more than so many less fortunate than us. I also need to stop using shopping as a way of making myself feel satisfied, and I need to stop playing into the idea that you are what you can afford to buy! It really is all about differentiating between wanting and needing.

3. My plan for maintaining the pledge? Prayer! No, seriously, that may be the only way I make it through! But really, I can still buy used...that's allowed... so if I really get an itchin' for some shoppin', I can go to the thrift stores. Also, when I 'm feeling lonely and bored (which usually results in a shopping trip) I will try to spend time going for walks, making crafts, cooking, playing outside, and thinking of ways to be "greener" :)

4. Okay, finally the part where I get to justify a few things...the exemptions:

a) Building materials. We are after all still remodeling a house! This does not however exempt un-needed purchases such as furniture and decorations. I'm exempting trim and paint, that sort of thing.

b) Building materials. Redundant, maybe, but this time it's for the dwelling. We plan to use as much salvaged material (which is allowed) as possible but I'm figuring that some things will need to be purchased new. The reason I'm exempting this is because it's already in the works, and therefore needs to be built!

c) I have the husband on board as much as possible...however, he has come up with a few exemption of his own:

- Music for DJing...which is unavoidable and also a business expense.

- Very early morning coffee on the way to the hospital, because if he grinds beans at 6:00am it wakes me up and that makes me grumpy...but whenever possible, he will make it at home.

d) My appointment at SalonSalon. It was a gift from Valentine's Day and even though it will be paid for during the compact, it was given before hand. And dammit, I need some pampering!

e) Whenever humanly possible, I will make or purchase recycled gifts during my compact. If this does not seem humanly possible, I am exempting the purchase of modest gifts. No going overboard!

f) Bathing suits, socks and underwear. Three things I outright refuse to buy second hand!

g) Last but not least, let's be honest here, it's soon to be summer vacation. We plan to take a small trip as soon as Walter is done with school. I don't know if vacations are part of the pledge to begin with but I'll exempt it just in case... the cost of this trip is exempt but not purchases made on the trip. No new stuff! After all, there are thrift stores on vacation aren't there?

I think that covers everything. I know it seems like a ton of exemptions, but I'm supposed to list them up front and I may as well be honest, instead of saying I'm not going to buy anything and then end up cheating.

Also, to all of you family that may read this, this pledge includes things we may be given. Please no new purchases! If you would like to give us something, please send money for groceries, used or recycled gifts, or gift certificates to thrift stores. Thanks for helping us stick to our pledge!

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