Friday, December 28, 2007

The end of the year

It's been a while, a long while since I've posted to this blog. I am surprised that the year is coming to an end so quickly, my year of only buying "sustainable" clothing. I put sustainable in quotations because it is a constant struggle to decide what is truly sustainable. I struggle with wondering if mankind can even sustain it's basic needs, let alone it's wants. And I freely admit that I want way more than I need.

Christmastime always brings this want into focus. Not only my desire for objects, but my desire to give other people things. This year I tried to give many pieces of artwork, which I justified to myself by telling myself they are pieces of paper and biodegradable. But I did give this artwork in frames I bought from the store, and despite my good intentions of bringing my own bags, there was still a pile of un-recyclable plastic wrap that each frame came individually wrapped in. It could be worse, but I know it could have been better. For family I bought a lot of presents from Gaiam as well as food presents that I felt pretty good about. Even then, I knew these items would be delivered in tons of packaging, including plastic bags that the organic cotton shirts I bought would come in. So, although I tried to be sustainable with my holiday choices, there was a lot of room for improvement.

My friends have all been very respectful of my choices in their choices of presents for me, from great books, to solar chargers to organic yoga pants they seemed to understand and make an attempt to get me things that followed in my beliefs.

My family made some choices that reflected my beliefs, but a couple that they just completely ignored. This is frustrating, because I know it comes out of a desire to want to get me nice things, yet it ends up making me feel terrible in the end. Conveying that less is more seems nearly impossible sometimes, I wish I could explain that I'd rather have one organic tee shirt and nothing else than an organic tee and five other non-sustainable items. I guess it comes with time, and the year before there were no sustainable items in the gifts I received.

As for the end of the year, I am not planning any spending spree on once forbidden items, it seems easy enough to continue on as I have. Over the months I have longed for a couple of totally unsustainable items, but I haven't given in and really never felt like I was missing out on something so badly. I am looking forward to another year of shopping at Envi, Greenloop, Title Nine, Gaiam, Kaight and the other wonderful places I have purchased items for over the past year. I feel better that my money is going to a conscientious group of people and items that are if not totally sustainable, on their way to creating a sustainable future. I think this is perhaps the first time I've ever kept a New Year's resolution the whole year and it feels pretty good. Hopefully I can figure out one for 2008 that can have the same personal impact.