Hopeful Wednesday: Seeing the Sustainable Changes Around Me
December 22, 2021
It’s the week before Christmas. I’ve honestly been in a Korean-drama haze. I’m watching a lot of dramas but at the same time I’m learning so much more Korean and also reliving moments in my life as a daughter-in-law to a Korean family. I’ve tried to be a dutiful daughter-in-law and it has not been always easy, but watching the dramas and seeing the echoes of our own lives in the traditions that are explained is helpful to me. My children and my mother and everyone thinks I’m in drama overconsumption mode, but honestly this is something I need to do for myself to deprogram some of my thought processess that I had over the last two decades. I affirms many of my values that I’ve held close to my heart, but are continually questioned by others around me. I’m happy and it’s keeping me off social media mostly anyway.
But the moments I’m not immersed in climate work, my dramas, work-work and my family – I’m looking around and I do see hope. There was a “free library” in the middle of the Mission Valley Mall. It’s kind of weird tension between that “free library” and the long-lines in Nostrom Rack that wind along aisles of trinkets at the end that you don’t need but they try to entice you to buy – is interesting. All the restauraunts are more “organic” and it may be green-washing, but at least it shows us that sustainability is mainstream. We were at the mall to buy some shirts and jean shorts for our teen daughter. We hardly buy anything new, and she is at that stage that I want her to feel comfortable with herself and teens express themselves through their clothes. She’s excited about wearing a new pair of shorts and a yellow top when she goes to the movies with her friends.
But otherwise I see the sustainable changes around me. It feels like everyone is buying less and slowing down. I know there are supply chain problems and gas prices are going up, but honestly – if none of us in the USA bought any clothing for an entire year, I think we would be okay. We all really have more than enough. We are donating a bit more to the thrift shops now, in the hopes that these things will actually be reused by others. I left a brand-new TV mount that no one in my family needed and that had been taking up closet space in the alley in the back of our house with “New and Free.” It was gone by the time I came back. Someone needed it and I was happy to give it.
And our Christmas decorations are the same. Nothing new this year, we have so much already. I thought the poinsettas my mother-in-law planted that turn red right in time is the coolest sustainable thing ever. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.