Sunday, October 19, 2008

Goodbye, cable TV!

--from Kate--
Yeah, so Larkin roped me in. Now it's time to put my fingers where my mouth is (huh?) and write about my experiences thus far joining the Compact Project.

Anyone who knows me knows that I wasn't really that far from making this leap. I'm a believer in reusing goods that still have life in them, and I've run my household in that way ever since I've had one to run. I can thank my mom for instilling much of that ethic, I'm sure. Plus I find I can be much more creative in fashion & decor when I'm not restricted by the walls of each store. It's all at the goodwill/garage sale/2nd hand shop. They're like the melting pots of consumerism. Just one example? Our daily dishware collection is all fine china. But each plate, saucer, and bowl is different from the other. Whenever I need new dishes, it's simple & inexpensive to add to the collection. And all the patterns are so pretty & varied. But I've been doing that for years. What's changed since joining?

Hmmm...I've opted to give experiences instead of goods for a couple of birthday gifts. Another difference is when I had to buy something new recently. I put a great deal more consideration into the purchase than I otherwise would have. I bought it as a result of the simplifying I'm trying to do...that "calm-pact" part of the effort. After a long period of waiting for the other decision-maker in my home to think about it, we chose to discontinue our cable tv service. The cable appeared 2 years ago, as it's done for one month every 4 years so that we could watch the World Cup before discreetly going away. Until 2006, when, for reasons that aren't pertinent to this blog, it didn't go away.

Back to the purchase though, since this cable business has been in the works for a good while. Our phone service was bundled with the cable, so we eliminated our land line, too. We have cell phones, and I decided to subscribe to Skype so that we can make free calls from our computer to anywhere in N America. For this I needed a microphone, and that's the purchase I made. Since by then I had joined the Compact, I considered buying used, but given how inexpensive they are, I figured it was an unreasonable risk to buy something non-returnable. See? I applied the fair & reasonable rule that Larkin outlined in one of her posts! I guess simplifying can mean dealing with some complications at the outset to achieve the end.

I'm proud of Larkin for choosing this as her senior project; it's a brave experiment for any American, but perhaps especially a teen. If anyone else is willing to give this a try, email Larkin. All who join are given writing capability on this blog, and are encouraged to share their own experiences with keeping to the guidelines of the Compact. Even a short paragraph on occasion is of great help to Larkin, and certainly of interest to us all!

1 comment:

Librarian Man said...

Just last month I took our cable box back to Comcast... Whew -- what a relief to have that beast out of the house. Pretty much everything that we want to watch is on anyway (Daily Show, Colbert Report, etc.) so now we have an extra $50/month to spend on Twizzlers and Chicken McNuggets.