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5 Ways to Express Your Gratitude for the Planet

The holidays are the perfect time to pause and pay attention to what's really important. Here are five simple ways to show your appreciation for the planet.

gratitude for planet
Written by
Samantha Bailon
holiday season
is a time for appreciation. In turns chaotic and peaceful, the year's last lap finds us spending quality time with friends and family, taking time away from work, and showing our gratitude toward the people in our lives through meals, presents, and presence. But what about the planet?
The holidays find Americans ramping
up our waste
production by 25%, producing 2,887,500,000 more pounds of garbage per week during the holidays relative to the rest of the year—a less-than-cheerful statistic.
Rather than contributing mindlessly to said staggering numbers, combat the accompanying chaos by slowing down and showing some gratitude to the beautiful planet that we all call home. Here, five simple ways to express your gratitude for Earth.

5 Ways to Express Your Gratitude for the Planet

1. Donate

In terms of climate-related disasters, this year has been a doozy. From
flooding in Pakistan
to Florida's
Hurricane Ian
to a summer that was
far too hot
, communities are reeling—and rebuilding—in the wake of natural devastation. (The
animals could use your help
, too.)
Hop online and find a cause that you feel compelled to contribute to. Symbolically
adopt a species via WWF
, donate to vetted organizations doing work on the ground around the world, or give back to your local community. There are thousands of wonderful organizations eager for support, especially this time of year—when your dollar is directly thoughtfully, you can make a huge impact.

2. Volunteer  

If you don’t have the financial means to donate money, invest your time! Get involved with local groups—beach, park, or city
make for a great start—or organizations and start to practice the planetary love your preach. (This is also a great way to meet other people with like-minded sustainability goals.)

3. Cut Your Waste

Now that you know how much waste comes with the most wonderful time of the year, you may want to show your gratitude for the Earth by minimizing your
. Pay attention to where your food is sourced from (shop local and organic!), use
reusable containers
for leftover storage, and be sure to
food scraps rather than tossing them.
Generally speaking, take note of the areas of your life that are defined by single-use products. Chances are, there's a reusable alternative out there.

4. Learn

One of the best ways to rekindle your relationship with the planet is to learn something new! There is no greater power than expanding your own environmental literacy.
Tune in to a podcast on long walks or car rides—
Good Together
offers tips, interviews, and more information within the sustainability space—put a
on during laundry day, or try a new vegan or farm-to-table recipe. You never know what you’ll learn next—and what that knowledge may inspire you to change in your life.

5. Go Outside

This one is simple: show your love for your Mother by getting outside! Whether it's a visit to a
national park
, the nearest trailhead, or a simple neighborhood stroll, time spent in nature is the ultimate reminder of the true nature of our shared home.