Show support for Ukraine by generating trash!

I’ve never been a big fan of the practice of tying ribbons (generally plastic) around trees along streets. But I find the current yellow and blue ones especially confusing.

Exactly what is someone trying to say by tying a couple of pieces of plastic around their tree? Are there a lot of people around who don’t know that Russia invaded Ukraine? Or who support Russia? What is this act supposed to accomplish, as opposed to - say - donating to some Ukrainian cause?

So a simple showing of support is terrible?
Did you problems with American Flags going up early in the war on Iraq and Afghanistan?

The only reason I’m not flying a Ukraine flag is every one I found so far is made in China and sending money to China while they’re supporting Russia seems very counter productive.

Every plastic grocery bag is probably wasting more plastic.

I’m trying to find ways to buy less from China.

Please explain “a simple showing of support.” I’m serious - I don’t get what motivates a person in such a situation. What is in it for them, or what do they think it is doing for someone else? Does it make the person feel virtuous?

Sure, there is a lot of plastic waste elsewhere. Not sure that is a good reason to personally contribute to such waste.

And yeah - I found the flying of US flags following our invasions repugnant. Took a LONG TIME before I was willing to fly my flag again.

It is a simple visual way to show that someone is supporting the Ukraine over Russia. Some are actually of Ukrainian descent. One in my neighborhood is Polish and flying a Polish flag and Ukrainian flag since this horrible mess started.

The waste is pretty minor I would think.

I don’t think virtuous is the right word.

Do you not ever where team gear? You seem to indicate that you use to fly an American flag sometimes. This is all kind of the same. I can’t play Short Stop for the Yanks, but I where Yankee hoodies all the time.

There isn’t much that individuals can do for the Ukraine, so they’re showing support at least.

I think the whole point of doing it is awareness. You saw the yellow and blue ribbons and you immediately knew it had something to do with supporting Ukraine. You can call it trash, or a waste of time, but someone got you to think about Ukraine for a fleeting moment, and that was the point.

I kind of agree with the OP. If you want to show support and make a statement, tie ribbons around your own trees. Or paint your own car. The ribbons left on trees end up falling off over time as no one maintains them, and they do indeed turn into litter.

Don’t get me started on releasing balloons for ceremonial purposes.

A subject for another thread.

I don’t fly anything, and I haven’t seen what the OP sees in my area of Chicago (though I’ve seen the occasional flag), but I get the desire to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine. You can do that and donate money and do other things to help the cause (or at least feel like you’re helping the cause) at the same time. At many businesses I visit, I see an option when checking out of donating $1/$5/$10 to Ukrainian relief. I usually donate a buck, though I have no idea where the money is actually going to.

I wouldn’t recommend donating if you don’t know where that money is going, because that’s how fraudsters can operate.

I personally made a donation to MSF when the war broke out.

True enough. This is at major groceries like Kroger-related and the such, so I assume there is some vetting going on, but, still, I don’t know exactly where the money is going.

Ahh… Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Good cause!

I would still appreciate more elaboration if anyone is willing. To whom do you wish your message conveyed? Whom do you wish to “make aware”?

Are you directing your message towards anyone of Ukrainian heritage who might be passing by? Do you time to “educate” anyone passing by who might be unaware of the situation in Ukraine? If anyone is so unaware, do you think a plastic ribbon will motivate them to become aware?

These sorts of concerns don’t really make sense to me. So I’m left with an explanation which DOES seem consistent with human nature I have observed - people display these ribbons because it makes themselves feel good. Which is not really a bad thing. Possibly virtue signaling, but also possibly just a well-intentioned flailing about by someone who wants to do SOMETHING, but can’t really figure out anything meaningful/useful to do, so they hang a ribbon. Or maybe they want to persuade other people to be more caring - tho I’m not sure what they want to other people to do. Hang ribbons themselves?

I am willing to have alternative explanations explained to me.

I really believe this is most of it. Though in some cases, people have an actual attachment to the People of the Ukraine and in some cases it is probably is virtue signaling. Especially when a business does it.

I guess I’m outside the majority in my dislike of buying plastic stuff that will just be tossed. So in my personal balance, doing nothing - while frustrating - is slightly better than generating plastic waste. Especially when generating the waste will provide minimal - if any - benefit.

But I am regularly disappointed at the cavalier attitude so many individuals, businesses, and organizations have towards plastic waste.

Not at all a huge deal. Just yet another type of widespread social behavior that is entirely foreign to me.

Actually on May 4th, New Jersey is finally ending plastic bags, plastic straws and polystyrene food containers. I’m looking forward to that. We are making progress. I’ve been carrying cloth bags for years for shopping. I also ended newspaper delivery 20 years ago to stop that waste.

But I don’t see these plastic ribbons being a major issue. I wouldn’t do it myself, I would rather find a flag made in a country not support Russia. Even that I gave up on fairly quickly. I made my minor little show of support in my avatars.

Well, I didn’t say it was “a major issue”, did I? :smiley:

Just an aspect of human behavior I find curious.

For a lot of people this invasion reminds people of the German aggression leading to WWII. Additionally it brings back the specter of nuclear war from the Cold War. So feeling fairly powerless in a dire situation is probably pretty common. So flags, garden flags, ribbons are a way of people dealing with it a little.

I assume that’s what the OP is complaining about. Most “street trees” are in front of someone’s property. If I were to tie ribbons on trees, it would be the trees in my yard, visible to the street.

Tying ribbons on trees isn’t my thing, but I have to think the amount of waste is negligible. No worse than a flag that you aren’t going to use after the war is over. Those ribbons seem to last a long time.

@Dinsdale , do you understand any other “team signaling”? Wearing gear branded with your local team? Wearing a flag pin? Wearing a company t-shirt? It’s basically the same motive. Even if you don’t do any of those things, surely you observe lots of other people doing it. And this is an event that has sparked extremely strong emotions in the US, even though we aren’t being bombed ourselves.

Well, in my town, the trees on the parkway are technically the city’s. But that’s not really a big concern of mine.

No, I do not wear sports gear - and even make some effort to avoid clearly “branded” gear. And I think the expectation that political candidates wear a lapel pin silly.

But if I wore a shirt for a certain sports team, I imagine I would be directing a message to other supporters of the team. Or to tweak supporters of an opposing team. Not sure I understand that in geopolitical matters. Are there a bunch of supporters of Russia’s invasion out there?

Something that sets me apart from most of my fellow Americans is that I find analogies between war and sports repulsive. Which is probably why I would never brand myself as favoring a side no matter how much I sympathize with their cause (as I do with Ukraine’s). Things like ribbons just seem offensively frivolous in reference to an event that is causing misery for millions of people.