The Compact

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USA[edit]

The Compact is a social and environmental movement whose members promise not to buy anything new for a year. It was started in San Francisco.[1] The movement began as a challenge among 10 friends in 2006.[2]

Goals of the Compact:

  1. to go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socio-economic impacts of U.S. consumer culture, to resist global corporatism, and to support local businesses, farms, etc.;
  2. to reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er);
  3. to simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact)

Members of the Compact are only allowed to buy underwear, food, and health and safety items such as brake fluid and toilet paper. During their one year vow the Compact members must shop only at second hand stores. They can also barter or simply share with each other for goods they want. One's trash is another's treasure. Compacters use Freecycle.org or freegle http://www.ilovefreegle.org/ where they post what they want and what they are giving away so that they can avoid buying new and still get the goods they want. Craigslist.org is another source of used goods. Many people following the Compact also join a Yahoo! Group for continued conversation and support.[3]

Members of the Compact frown upon material consumerism. However, they are allowed to use services such as movies, theaters, museums, massages, haircuts, and music downloads. There is a difference between wanting and needing and Compact Members know the difference. There are currently thousands of members and about 100 new members join every day. In San Francisco local Compacters also enjoy the Really Really Free Market (RRFM). RRFM gathers in Dolores Park to give away material goods they no longer want and what they want or to share skills and talents. Compacters prefer to shop at local food markets rather than supermarkets because they wish to support the local community.

England (United Kingdom)[edit]

In England, The Compact is the agreement between the Government and the voluntary and community sector, which was established in November 1998. It was renewed by the coalition government in 2010.

It aims to improve the relationship between the two sectors for mutual advantage.

The Compact offers improved funding processes, clear consultation standards, enforceable rights, and an overall improvement in working relationships.

The Compact is based on five principles:

1. A strong, diverse and independent civil society
2. Effective and transparent design and development of policies, programmes and services
3. Responsive and high-quality programmes and services
4. Clear arrangements for managing changes to programmes and services
5. An equal and fair society

Responsibility for oversight of the Compact is shared between the Office for Civil Society and Compact Voice.

Commission for the Compact[edit]

Established in 2007, the Commission for the Compact was an independent public body responsible for overseeing and promoting use of the Compact. The Commission closed in April 2010.

Local Compacts[edit]

Almost every local authority area in England has a Local Compact, which sets out agreed principles for a relationship which reflects local circumstances and goals.

References[edit]

External links[edit]