Moral problem

A 2004 survey said one-third of Americans agree this moral issue is our biggest problem . . . Is it homosexuality and gay marriage? Gluttony? Teen sex before marriage? What was the moral problem one-third of Americans thought is the biggest right now?

Greed and materialism.

Here's what John Perry and a group of friends are doing about it: they created a Compact. The Compact is for one year . . . not to buy anything new. They are trying to take a stand "against rampant consumption and waste." News spread and thousands are participating worldwide. Some have angrily critiqued the idea. Says John Perry, 42, of San Francisco, "We've been told shopping is patriotic. Part of the promise of success in America is that you can buy lots of stuff."

Read about exceptions to the compact, such as food at

Source: Sierra Magazine (Sep/Oct 06)