Why Sustainability is the Best Way to Give Thanks

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    Although traditions vary, many of us will be gathering with friends and family to give thanks in the coming weeks. If you’re like most people, family will be the first thing you express gratitude for. Things like career, money, spirituality, friends, health, and home round out the list of things people say give their life meaning.

    But, as the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”

    And, what will we do? We’ll share a few words, sit down to a feast, pop on the game, and settle in for the night, only to be overtaken by the chaos of consumerism in the name of the holiday season a matter of hours later.

    This year, let’s give thanks with our actions. Let’s show gratitude by living sustainably.

    Sustainability lets us give thanks to and for ones we care about.

    In “How to Have it All at Work with Less,” Katie Mehnert talks about how Hurricane Harvey stripped her and her family of a lifetime of accumulated belongings in a matter of hours. Though undeniably devastating, she took something pivotal away from the crisis. “As cathartic and crazy as it was, I was happier with simplified life after Harvey,” she explains.

    Thankfully, many of us will never know what it’s like to lose so much, let alone all at once, but we can appreciate the message. Living sustainably allows us to let go of the things that aren’t important (gadgets, cars, and pizza cutters) and focus ourselves and our resources on what really matters—the people we love. It also allows us to preserve the earth for them too.

    Sustainability is the best way to give thanks for our careers—now and in the future.

    The energy industry was built on fossil fuels; obviously not sustainable and has resulted in devastating consequences such as climate change. However, energy companies realize this and they’re now heavily invested in sustainable sources. We will have sustainable energy to thank for our careers going forward.

    “Equality, Environment, and the New Economy” is also the theme of Energy 2.0, the biggest unconference you’ve ever been invited to attend. No plane tickets necessary—75,000+ people are expected to attend at 40 watch sites globally.  

    Sustainability shows gratitude for money and wellness.

    A lot of people think that living sustainably increases costs. This is actually a huge myth. “We can’t afford not to be sustainable,” says Yale Professor of Economics Robert Mendelsohn. “Choosing not to be sustainable is to choose a worse outcome. And so we definitely can afford it.” He spoke those words almost a decade ago, and since then, even more research has emerged on the topic. As it turns out, the world would save $26 trillion by 2030 if we switched to sustainable development today.

    But what about at home in our daily lives? Debt is on the rise and the average person in the United States now owes $38,000, not including mortgages. By not buying the things we don’t need, we show greater appreciation for our finances and will have less debt, but it goes so much deeper than that. Research shows debt directly impacts emotional health, including stress, anxiety and depression. It affects weight, blood pressure, and a number of other aspects of physical wellness too.

    By living sustainably, we give thanks for our health and to our pocketbooks as well.

    Sustainability gives thanks on the deepest possible level.

    Even though climate change is still hard to accept for some, we see the impact of unsustainability in everything from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (80,000 tons of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean), to the environmental toxins actively making us ill, and the destruction of rainforests, which effectively annihilates the earth’s lungs. Whether you believe in God, have any kind of faith, or simply believe the earth itself has given us a bounty, treating it with reverence is the sincerest way to give thanks for all it gives us.

    Be Part of the Shift

    Sustainability impacts us, our families, and everything we care about. Thankfully, a shift is underway—a great push toward sustainability in our lives, at work, and in the energy industry as a whole. If you want to be part of it, become a Pink Petro member.

    join Pink Petro

    Feature image credit: hudsoncrafted via Pixabay.