While many Americans spend big bucks online, some are using the Internet to tone down their consumerism. PC World's Grant Gross has joined a national group called the Compact, which encourages members to swear off buying new stuff whenever possible and stick to local products. It's a step "beyond recycling," according to the group's popular blog.
New undies are kosher, but Gross buys all his appliances secondhand off eBay. It may be a big corporation, but it plays host to a swarm of "mom 'n pop stores" that the Compact supports. But when it comes to electric guitars, Gross finds it hard to stick to his guns: "there's this brand-new Taylor electric guitar that looks really, really cool," he writes.