3 Sustainable & Creative Ways To Say “Thank You”
Saying “thanks” is one of life’s greatest joys.
When we express our gratitude to someone, we’re saying, “I appreciate you tremendously.” By offering genuine appreciation, we’re considering someone else’s kindness and recognizing them for their help and selfless gesture. Sometimes, a simple and old-fashioned “thank you” is all it takes. But when someone goes that extra mile and they do more than expected just to make your life better, it’s worth thanking them in a meaningful and intentional way.
Saying “thanks” is one of life’s greatest joys. You can do something authentic, and something that feels true to the relationship between you and the person you’re acknowledging. Strengthen your bond by following up on their generosity with a bit of your own. Here are some of my favorite ways to express gratitude in sustainable ways.
First, Skip The Flowers
It’s time to leave flowers where they grow—in nature, in gardens, or in pots at home. Leave them where they have the opportunity to create fresh oxygen for our carbon-carrying lungs. While flowers are beautiful and fragrant, bouquets—especially those bought in the USA and UK—are typically imported. Think of that cargo fuel! As a child, Nana would say, “Always send flowers.” But that was the 90s. In 2020, it’s time to upgrade our gratitude.
1. Find A treasure and Give a forever gift
If an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, a gift for a gift will leave everyone delighted. I love buying a thank you gift for someone who’s done something especially kind for me. Make it something that they can use over and over.
If it’s a candle, may it be in a lovely vessel. If it’s a plant, put it in timeless pottery. I get so much joy in finding something from a thrift store that I know will be treasured—like a crystal decanter or hand-painted china. Not only do these sustainable gifts express thanks, but they demonstrate love and ensure the recipient’s good deed will live on indefinitely, too.
2. Pay Your Gratitude Forward & make a donation In Their Name
What better way of saying “thank you” to a friend than by championing their interests? Everyone stands for something, and many of us have charities we work with.
Take your thanks and use it to make the world a better place. If you believe that we’re all connected through Earth, you know your friend will feel your gratitude tenfold. Find out their favorite cause organization. Visit the website, make a call, or head into the organization’s office. Donate and do it in your friend’s name. Many charities will even send an e-card to notify the recipient of the donation—all you need to do is ask! Alternatively, go green and plant a tree in their name.
3. Share Their Story With Others, Or send a digital letter
We’ve all heard, “shout it from the rooftops,” but the colloquial saying for creating noise pollution doesn’t have space in social media’s golden era. Say thanks with a story or a post instead.
Start a conversation about your person’s good deed, and let them know you want everyone in your social sphere to hear about it! Share your love, say thanks, and post some content while you’re at it. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a story is worth a million.
Alternatively, if you want to keep your thanks private, send a personal note—because who doesn’t appreciate a handwritten letter? What a charming way to say one’s piece. Write it down, but make it green. Digitize your letter by handwriting it on a tablet, or use one of the many apps (Notably, Evernote, or Whink for reliving the gel pen days).
What are some ways you like to express gratitude beyond saying “thank you”? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
James Francis Kelley is a writer and stylist based in Los Angeles. While he has many interests, he’s most passionate about creating an eco-conscience culture and preparing for a globalized future. If he’s not working, he can be found on Duolingo, biking to electronica music, or browsing Mr. Porter. Find his work on his website, and his musings on Instagram.