I thought our first week of the The Compact would be a breeze. I mean seriously, we have barely put away all of the stuff from Christmas yet, how could we possibly need anything new? I almost felt guilty doing this eco-challenge in January. HA! I faced my first conflict on January 2nd!
That was when I headed out to the store to do my weekly grocery shop and found myself reaching for the Sunday paper. Let me tell you a little something about myself: I LOVE the Sunday paper. I love stretching out on the floor to catch up on the week’s news, gossip, and cultural events while sipping a cup of tea and nibbling on scones (of course, I’m a mom with two young kids, so it never actually happens like this, but I love the IDEA of this image nonetheless.) I love the crossword puzzle. I love handing my daughters the kids page. I even like looking at the coupons (although for some reason they never seem to have coupons for organic, free-range chicken or 100% post-consumer waste toilet paper.)
Anyhow, what I’m trying to impress upon you is how much I love the Sunday paper. But I don’t need it. And since it doesn’t qualify as food or medicine, I realized I would have to give it up. If I really wanted to catch up on the week’s news and events, I could always read the paper at the library (but not on Sunday, when the news is actually new.) So with much dismay, I put the paper back and headed on with my shopping. But it got me thinking. I can give up the paper for a month. That’s no problem. But for a year (or longer) I’m honestly not so sure. I would do it if I had to, but if I don’t have to, then isn’t it worth it to hold on to life’s simple pleasures?
My next conflict arose two days later when I realized that two birthdays were coming up in January and I would need to figure out a way to give my friends presents without buying anything new. Actually, I had already purchased a gift for Friend A in December, when I was in Christmas ordering mode. So even though the gift had not yet arrived, it had been bought and paid for in the month of December. Was this cheating? It sure felt like it. But since is was too late to cancel the order, I decided that it would be silly not to give her the gift. Still, it gave me a good idea of how much more challenging this challenge would be to maintain over time.
I am happy to report that I stuck to my eco-challenge guns for Friend B. Instead of hitting the stores to buy a bag of stuff, I baked him a pie and gave him a gift card to a favorite local restaurant. New stuff purchased = nada. Hooray!
Overall, I think our first week of The Compact went well, even though it brought a surprising number of challenges. Any suggestion on how I could have done it better?