I have spent this year uprooting, assessing, and realigning my lifestyle to match my values. This has allowed me to make travel, working outdoors in new places, reading, spending time with friends, and pursuing higher education in ecology the basis of my life, rather than only getting glimpses of it here and there. Learning that I have enough, purging items, and my desire to reduce waste and over-consumption has created more space in my life for the things that matter. Witnessing poverty in Thailand made the American standard of living that much more outrageous and egregiously wasteful to me.
Looking ahead, this next year will be spent committing more effort into reducing my use of fossil fuels, petrol-based products, plastics, single-use items, and contacting politicians and companies to advocate for policies that address global climate change. I will also incorporate more volunteer work/community service and donations as a regular part of my life.
This year I chose to donate to the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Park Foundation, Planned Parenthood, and Villalobos Rescue Center. For Christmas I’m going to “Adopt a Native Elder” through a program in Salt Lake City that sends food, firewood, blankets, and medicine to elders in a Navajo reservation that live traditionally in hogans.
I hope that you will join me in using our freedom, health, and wealth to fight for policy, take care of others, and be stewards of our precious earth.
Here’s to a mindful holiday season and the never-ending opportunities to do better!