Friday, March 02, 2007

Confusion over "The Compact".....

OK, I've signed up for "The Compact" mailing list, but I haven't signed up for "The Compact" of not buying anything new for a whole year. More on that later. Now, the TC (not to be confused with the "OC") is one of the most prolific mailing lists I've ever subscribed to, and it seems to confuse minimal impact with frugality, not that the two aren't unrelated. But for me the posts were getting a little shrill, and questions about recycling maxi-pads and tampons are a little much (I'm sorry to bring the topic up, but even in context, it doesn't get better, trust me on this one).The same issue of all or nothing that plagued the Car Free mailing list seem to be afflicting the TC as well. The problem is a focus on denial instead of generativity.

Architect William McDonough, talks about sustainability being boring, he wants fecundity. In short, he wants life. His philosophy of "Cradle to Cradle" product design where you choose materials that can be recycled and reused when it's finish. Buy, Throw Away, Recycle, Remake, Rebuy. And that's what I originally thought about when I read about TC in the New York Times, it's not about denial. But what it is about is conscious consumption and active choice in life. The TC is about avoding mindless materialism, and in a clever part of subterfuge pumping the service economy. (Restaurants, Massages, Maid Service, etc)

Now why do we have too much mindless materialism, and I would argue a large part of the problem is, is we really don't have too little in life, but we have too much. I call it the gift certificate problem....

More on that later.....


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