Monday, January 15, 2007

First Entry .. In the beginning

This is the first entry of the Halifax Compacters Blog...We just wanted to get started.. no big deal....This is just us, a small (very small right now) group of friends who all happened read the article on the San Fran Compacters in the local paper last week. It was all about their "buy nothing new" 2006... and we got inspired.. Oh sure, we know the very fact that we can consider a "buy nothing new" year puts us in the priviledged category.. but we are still willing to go for it. We want to put our well trained consumer instincts "on hold" for 2007 and see what comes of it..
Our hopes - to learn more about ourselves, to build some community as we build our awareness.. to challenge ourselve and each other to "think before we buy" and explore a different way of being in our world and in our lives... and have some good times together on the journey...

So far we are two couples, one child, two dogs, and two cats...who have met together in a living room by the wood stove, great coffee, cookies and conversation about exploring our "buy nothing new" compact... We have agreed to start the compact on February 1, 2007 - to meet together Sunday at 11:00 AM once a month to continue to explore, talk and eat together.. and invite other "like minded" explorers we know to join us....

Some of our questions already:
What about building materials? I've gotta fix the cottage roof this year.?? How to get creative about that? and drywall? How do we decide what's in the "no buy new" rule and what's not?

Shoes - two of us have a "shoe" thing... it's going to hard, especially when summer comes.. I'm not buying used shoes! I'll tell you that right now.. but for now I'm "set" for shoes so "whew" - we won't have to talk about that one until at least March...

And Restuarants... that is a "service" but is there a difference between a local neighbourhood restaurant and a big chain? does it matter? how does buying local fit in?

And speaking of buying local.. the whole issue of organic vs local purchasing come up.. We are in to "buying local over organic" but our compatriots have a child and organic trumps local for them when buying for her... lesson... we will all need to decide things in a ways that makes sense for us... it's great to have other people to talk it through with , to challenge us, support us and ask questions with....

1st "compact" score...we mentioned we borrow/find/acquire a spare bed for my neice (who is coming for few months..) We "put it out there" to our compacters and within an hour of getting home we have a call saying they got an email from other friends who are moving and looking to off load a bed... just need to pick it up!! wow...

So.. here we go, we'll be chronicling the ride..feel free to come along in blog space as we chronicle the Halifax Compacters 2007 "buy nothing new year"....

5 comments:

tam said...

I just heard your interview on the Radio Noon CBC show.
Buying second hand and swapping was always a lifestyle for me until hubby and I bought a house and I am running a fledgling business. I think it's a great leap to try this for a year and I will be tuning in for progress reports.
It would be interesting to have a semi-regular listing of items that people want/don't want. Just a thought.
Congrats & Good Luck!!

barley said...

Hi, just caught the end of your conversation on the CBC. I want to wish you the very best on your adventure!
Are you familiar with Freecycle? It is a web based way of connecting to others that either need something or have something to give away. There are a few around the province. It's not a perfect system but may be a help for you. I think that there is one in Metro.
Also reading about your preference to purchase local produce. I raise and sell vegetable grain fed chickens and grass fed beef. There are no hormones or medications in my feed other than a chick antibiotic for the first 2 weeks. I'm sure that there are other sources in the province that also offer these things.
Again, all the best.

handd said...

Hello!
I wanted to say that I'm excited about your plan and will be dropping back in here to read your notes and thoughts on the year.
I'm in Halifax near the Northwest Arm and the Dingle and would love to join/create a group to meet up with to share ideas and support in living sustainably in our society.
It's also great to know about freecycle, and I would buy locally raised chicken for my family. I wonder where it can be found, barley?

www.flickr.com/photos/watts/


Happy trails.

GLENDA said...

Hi
Also heard your interview yesterday and will be closely following your adventures for the year ahead. It's quite a challenge. Regarding yarn, I've been recycling sweaters to yarn for some time now and have had great success and actually have access to more variety than ever before. There is lots of information out there on how to access, decontruct and clean. It's challenging and fun so I wish the knitter(Suzanne?)success in finding suitable quantities of fiber to feed your knitting requirements.

Melissa said...

I heard the interview yesterday. I look forward to reading about your progress.