A staple of Thanksgiving celebrations is the tradition of going around the dinner table and having guests say exactly what they’re thankful for. It’s a moment that promotes connection, love and gratitude—something that I’m sure we’re all holding onto more than ever this year. The answers will typically vary, but most will relay a person’s sincere love for family, friends and good health. In the midst of our forthcoming holiday celebrations, it’s imperative that we give thanks for not only all of the things we love about our immediate home, but about our greater home, as well—Planet Earth.
Towering trees, bustling rivers, vibrant sunsets, powerful oceans, enchanting mountaintops and piercing rock buttes—some of the most naturally beautiful and unforgettable sights we’ll ever see in our lifetimes are small elements of the greater planet and world we inhabit.
As we gather to give thanks, let us not forget what a wonderful joy it is to live here on Earth—as well as how lucky we are that this same complex world also provides a number of natural resources that help to sustain life and keep us going each day.
Showing intentional gratitude for the Earth helps to remind us that the best way to actually love the planet everyday—and not just on Thanksgiving—is to do our part to protect and preserve it for future generations. The effects of climate change are undeniable, and it’s our job to reverse what damage has already been caused, so that the planet can continue to sustain life for generations to come.
This Thanksgiving, we can honor the Earth in a number of different ways beyond just expressing our gratitude for it over a family dinner. Here are some tips for how to get started:
Give thanks for your food.
A number of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes probably come from the Earth—like mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes and green beans. Taking a moment to express gratitude over the delicious meal you’re about to eat—made possible by ingredients grown from the Earth itself—is a beautiful way embrace community with the people you love, and celebrate the wondrous nature of life—and all that it provides—in the process.
It’s easy to forget how wonderful things right in front of us are when we’re so busy investing in a million other things—like our cell phones or a number of other technology pieces that dominate our lives. One of the best ways to gain immediate perspective is to separate yourself from your day-to-day environment. And in the age of COVID-19, that means getting outside of your house and stepping into the greater world around you. With beautiful winter weather and the visible glory brought by the changing seasons, a quick walk in nature will allow you to reconnect with the organic aura of the Earth, and remind you just how much is at stake when we dismiss the realities of climate change.
Support an environmental organization.
One of the greatest acts of love is through service—and since the holidays place a particular emphasis on thankfulness, we should all feel inspired to appreciate what we have and support people or groups who have less. There are a number of organizations and nonprofits that place a particular emphasis on doing environmental work. And during these seasons more than ever, they need your financial support and time. So, consider researching what groups you’d like to support, and then put your best foot forward in contributing whatever you can—whether it be time or money.