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Table of Thanksgiving food. Sliced ham, pies, various sides.

What are you thankful for?

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on what makes us thankful in our everyday lives. Maybe it’s quality time with a friend or family member, a snuggle with your animal companion, or a warm place to spend the winter. Whatever you’re thankful for this season, do you ever think about how your energy makes it possible?  

Energy, whether physical, mental, emotional or the kind that powers your home, is all connected. It makes it possible to travel to see your loved ones, send a text to a long-distance friend or even gather around the table to share a Thanksgiving meal.  

We often talk about practicing sustainability by conserving the energy we use. It’s good advice for the power in our homes — and for the energy used in our interactions with others. The holidays can be a celebratory time, but don’t forget to check in with yourself and reflect on how you can best use your energy to power your life and your relationships.  

When it comes to your Thanksgiving Day festivities, think about how you can practice sustainability and create new traditions. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate sustainably: 

  • Get out of the house. Give the lights, TV and thermostat a break. If the weather allows, go out and enjoy a walk or bike ride. Or find Thanksgiving Day volunteer opportunities in your local community.  
  • Finish your leftovers. So much food is wasted during the holiday season. Make sure you’re being smart about how your food is consumed after it's on the table. Can it be frozen? Can you pack up a meal and take it to a friend or neighbor? Do we really need to make green bean casserole if nobody eats it?  
  • Focus on reusable. From forks and knives to take-home containers, use reusable items when you can. While it may be tempting to simply throw away your plates and silverware rather than load the dishwasher, providing reusable items for your guests is an easy way to help the planet.  

Energy is all around us. It powers what we do, how we interact with others and the lights in our homes. This Thanksgiving, take a moment and reflect on what your energy has given you and how you will use your energy to show your gratitude to the planet and your loved ones.  

Grant Barton is a Communications Partner with a passion for sustainability and eco-friendly city planning. He has a diverse background in engineering, politics and international communications and hopes to apply this experience when writing and breaking down complex topics related to Alliant Energy's Clean Energy Future plans.

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