Being thankful is part of the joy of being a biomimic. Once you see that the living world is teeming with tangible wayposts that direct us to a more sustainable future, it’s hard not to feel profoundly grateful each time you step outside.

With the holiday season approaching, we want to share what makes us thankful in nature and invite you to do the same. Post a pic of yourself or a loved one holding a #THANKOUTSIDE sign in your favorite outdoor spot, explain what you’re thankful for in nature, and post to Twitter or Instagram using the #THANKOUTSIDE hashtag. From now until Nov. 26th, we’ll repost our favorites. Don’t have a Twitter or Instagram account? You can send your pic and blurb to hello(at)biomimicry.org.

Read on to learn what the Biomimicry Institute team is grateful for, this year and always.

Beth Rattner, Executive Director

“90% of all the redwoods in the world reside within one, relatively narrow 400-mile strip in California. To me, they are the Sistine Chapel of all trees.  Every time I get to be near one, be it a “baby” that’s the size of a house or an elder that’s a couple hundred feet into the sky, I feel an unquestionable reverence and am grateful that I live in their presence.”

Gretchen Hooker, Project Manager, Design Challenges

“I am thankful for the Great Lakes, holding 21% of the world’s fresh water.  And for the beautiful freshwater sand dune ecosystem along Lake Michigan’s east shore.”

Jen Schill, Project Manager

“I’m grateful for Colorado’s mountains because they center me by reminding me how small we are in this big, amazing world. And because from the foothills to the alpine tundra, their diverse flora and fauna offer unwavering inspiration.”

Erin Connelly, Communications Manager

“I’m thankful for rain, especially after a hot, dry summer. It may be soggy and gloomy sometimes, but we live in a temperate rainforest here in the Pacific NW, so we need lots and lots of rain keep our ecosystem healthy and green.”

Jeanette Lim, AskNature Content Coordinator

“I’m grateful that nature regularly causes me to stare in wonder — at an alpine landscape, hovering hummingbird, or busy tidepool. It reminds me to appreciate the incredible diversity we find in nature.”

Adiel Gavish, Social Media and Communications

“I’m grateful for the temperate deciduous forest outside my window and how the gorgeous changing leaves connect me to the Earth’s cycles. You don’t really get to experience this in a city.”

Courteny Morehouse, Operations Manager

“Besides the green they bring to our very golden hills, the trees of California are some very rad plants. A single Blue Oak can hold and treat 57,000 gallons of water in the soil in a 12 inch flash flood and a 100 foot Redwood can harvest the equivalent of 4 inches of rainwater from coastal fog in a single night! Talk about water management.”

Diana Lee, Individual Giving and Outreach Manager

“I especially love the bits of nature we have even in a fairly urban setting. Gardens, parks – all give us relief and beauty amid the paved surfaces, cars and buildings.”

Megan Schuknecht, Director of Design Challenges

“I’m thankful for creeks because they remind me of nature’s cycles and the interconnectedness of all life. I’m also thankful for the biodiversity they support. In my home ecosystem, you can find caddisflies, cutthroat trout, dippers, kingfishers, beavers, white-tailed deer, mountain lions, black bears, willows, and cottonwood trees all making use of cold, clear, creek water.”

Cookie, Chief Walk Strategist 

“I love being outside – so much to sniff!”

Tap into nature anywhere: