Taylor Patterson, ERS
It has been a dark and turbulent year to say the least. Between the coronavirus pandemic, the George Floyd tragedy and ensuing unrest, continued protests for social justice, and what was perhaps the most stressful and divided presidential election in modern history, 2020 has burdened people everywhere with heavy weight after heavy weight. Now more than ever, people need a light to guide them through the darkness: Cue the holiday season!
It is not easy to overlook the negativity that 2020 has brought unto the world, which is why we must go the extra mile to not only seek out reasons to be thankful, but sit in gratitude among the things this year has brought us that we didn’t know we needed until the world forced us to see. In 2020, we saw:
Restored Air and Water Quality
- Communities in the United States, China, and other heavily-smogged countries saw dramatic decreases in harmful air pollutants and toxins during the early stages of the pandemic as a direct result of fewer vehicle and warehouse emissions. California and Washington, D.C., both saw the healthiest air quality they’ve had in decades with reduced NO2 emissions among other harmful gases.
- The canals of Venice saw breathtakingly clear blue waters as water traffic ceased, allowing sediment along the canal floors to settle and water visibility to improve. Observers saw increased populations of swans return to the canals and even spotted dolphins in the ports! Many also reported being able to see fish swimming in the depths of the canal because the water was so clear.
- Did you go for a hike this summer? Did you go for a bike ride? Did you go camping? You’re not alone – in fact, these outdoor activities saw dramatic increases in participants over the last 9 months as restaurants, shopping centers, sporting events, and all of the usual social gathering sights shut their doors, leaving people no choice but to stretch their legs and rest their minds in the great outdoors! Those of you who didn’t likely tried but found there wasn’t a bike to be sold in April, a tent on a shelf in June, or a lawn game in stock come July.
Appreciation of Nature’s Beauty and Gifts
- If you went on a hike, did you take a picture when you reached the summit? Did you post it on social media? I’ll bet there aren’t many folks out there who didn’t have their social media feeds flooded each weekend with a family member, friend, or neighbor’s mountain-top view, or the cascading colors of a canopy from their hike. Never has Instagram seen a more beautiful, natural, unfiltered view than it did over the summer of 2020’s hiking expeditions.
- Restaurants everywhere closed their doors for typical inside seating, but many were able to draw in customers by offering outdoor seating. There is nothing like appreciating the warm weather of summer by enjoying dinner outdoors, which is why so many sought to devour a meal under a parking lot tent or on a makeshift sidewalk café to support local eateries.
And Energy Spent the Right Way
- How many times did you go for a walk, a run, or a bike ride? Better yet, how many times did you see others in your neighborhood partake in outdoor exercise? A summer at home meant taking advantage of getting out while you could and finding simpler ways to exert energy!
- When you couldn’t get out to see your friends, you started to cherish the social interactions you did have – with your family. Family game nights, bonfires, walks, and other quality bonding time spiked during quarantine.
- Lonely quarantine times call for fun, furry companions! In 2020 we saw a “buying frenzy” of dogs as a result of the pandemic. Adding a pet to your household was a win-win in quarantine – families had an exciting new companion in their lives to focus on, and dogs got to spend time with their families all day with everyone quarantining at home. Who walks who, the dog the human or the human the dog?
- I don’t know about the rest of you, but the Zondits family has grown drastically over the course of the last 9 months! Our small family has seen 2 engagements, 2 weddings, the birth of 3 baby girls, and the announcements of 4 more babies on the way!
This Thanksgiving, be thankful for these things: the intangibles, the bigger picture, the rainbows that we saw because we put up with the rain. Be thankful for clean energy and the different meaning that clean energy took on – it became pure energy, positive energy. It became the energy we needed to make this world, this crazy world that was 2020, a better and brighter place, and that is why this year, at a smaller, more intimate thanksgiving dinner table, Zondits is thankful for Positive Energy.