We love our annual tradition of reviewing what we’re thankful for each year. We love the opportunity to look back and see what we were thankful for in years past (which you can do for our lists from 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2011). But primarily we love having the opportunity to take time annually to reflect on what we’re grateful for during the course of any given year. We know that often we, as a society, don’t take the time to do this, and it’s to our detriment. In fact, we’ll be the first to say that in this particularly ugly election year, it’s been somewhat challenging to focus on the positive changes that are truly happening around us each day. With that said, we’ll be taking today to talk about some of those positive changes that make us thankful that we’re alive in this day and age.

We’re Thankful for … Millennials. There. We said it!

We know that Millennials get a bad reputation sometimes. In truth, they’ve inherited a mess created not insignificantly by years of a society pushing addictive consumerism. We spent part of the time this year taking a deeper look into how Millennials are making positive changes in the world, and we have to say that we were inspired by how their innovation and “non-stuff” style of thinking is driving positive momentum. Like any generation, the book has yet to be written on how their desire for change will (or may not) translate into real change. But their belief in clean energy, sustainable living and satisfaction through more than the acquisition of “stuff” has us believing change is possible. With their votes and their wallets, they can remodel the future.

We’re Thankful for … The Steady March of Clean Energy

Again, the rise of clean energy can be somewhat easy to lose sight of, particularly given the rhetoric of some of this election cycle in the United States. But the fact is that across the world in 2016 there were plenty of clean energy milestones. In 2016, Costa Rica went an entire 72 days without using a single fossil fuel. Germany experienced its first day ever where almost all of its power needs were met using renewables. While the results of the clean energy movement may not be immediately visible in the United States, the rest of the world is making progress. We’ll catch up eventually. Of course, as necessary as it is, clean energy efficiency won’t be enough to beat the climate crisis due to natural human rebound. Sufficiency is just as important as efficiency and is altogether missing from our mindsets so far.

We’re Thankful for … David Suzuki

This year for Earth Day, we featured our favorite quotes from famed (and effective) Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki. The opportunity to revisit some of his most poignant quotes reminded us of what a force he’s been not only in raising awareness of environmental issues but also in driving action toward finding and implementing solutions. His foundation does amazing work that needs to be done and we’ll be forever grateful for the attention and actionable results they’ve been able to accomplish in the area of sustainability and ecological awareness.

We’re Thankful for … The Obamas

We try to never get involved in politics on our website (though we are obviously extremely active with it in our lives). However, the nature of this election cycle has made us thankful that we were able to enjoy eight full years of an Obama White House. Not only the actions of this president but also the character of the man and his family have been good for the world and, despite our current state of discord in America, good for the country. It’s rare that a person of character is willing to subject themselves to the political spectrum these days. We’re thankful that President Obama did.

We’re Thankful for … This Expertise of the Postconsumers Content Team

We’re always proud of the work that our content team does, but this year we were especially thankful for a series of quotes on the scary side of marketing and advertising that they put together. You can find the complete collection right here. A number of these quotes are particularly apt with this month’s election, which is as much marketing as it is anything else. But even with the election connection taken away, these quotes speak powerfully about how the marketing and advertising industry is changing not only the way that you live but the actual way that you think on a daily basis with long-term societal impact.

We’re Thankful for … Another Year of Get Satisfied Cartoons

We’re also always grateful for the great work Hollywood animator Mike Swofford does for us each year. The topic of mass consumerism and sustainability can be a difficult one to approach with a light-hearted sense, but he manages to do it year after year. This year, we believe that a couple of his cartoons truly nailed the vision of our mission better than we can possibly say in words. We’ve shared them below, but you can always browse the entire cartoon gallery and all past cartoons right here.

We’re Thankful for … Election Day

For so many, many reasons we’ll be forever Thankful that a certain Tuesday in November is over. Not just because it represents the greatest power that Americans have – the power to vote for change – but because until it happens we can’t begin to heal as a nation. Or as a culture. So we’re thankful for election day.

What are you thankful for? Tell us about it on the social media channels below.

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Photo Credit: Jeff Turner via Flickr