People and the Earth have something in common.
They both give beauty even when they hurt!
Every year people around the world celebrate the Global Earth Exchange by visiting places they care about that have been damaged—and making gifts of appreciation and sympathy for them.
This simple practice reconnects you with a place you love, empowers creativity, builds community, and reminds us that all places, like all people, are beautiful and valuable.
During this long pandemic year, we’ve all been hurting. So this year, let’s exchange gifts with the Earth!
How it works
When you go to your wounded place*, bring an object that represents your own challenges over the past year. After spending some time at your place, sharing stories and getting to know the place as it is now, make a gift of beauty using materials the place itself offers (twigs, stones, flowers, even trash).
This is the heart of the Global Earth Exchange—giving something back to a place that has given so much and now can’t give as it used to do.
Build your own object into this gift. Let the Earth take your sorrow and stress and recycle it into something new, fresh, and fertile.
When your gift is complete, you may want to share your hopes for healing for yourself, others, and the place. You might sing a song, offer a prayer, express hopes for the future, or hold a moment of silence in honor of what’s been lost—and what still boldly survives.
Take a photo of yourself with your gift of beauty and send it to us, along with a short description of why you went to that particular place and what happened. Send it to us and we’ll add it to a 2021 Global Earth Exchange gallery on our website.
Why It Matters
*A wounded place is a place that has been damaged or degraded in some way—by pollution, clearcutting, or an act of violence. It’s a place whose current state makes you feel sad.
By facing these places and giving something back to them, you:
- discover surprising creativity and resilience (in yourself and in the place!)
- remember that all places, like all people, are beautiful and valued
- create community with others who love the place
- gain courage to face other challenges
Since RadJoy’s first Global Earth Exchange in 2010, people have made beauty at gas fracking sites, clear-cut forests, coral reefs, for endangered dolphins and bats and honeybees, in the war-torn city of Kabul and ancient Stonehenge, for dead in their own backyard, and hundreds of other places.
The 4 Suggested Steps of the Earth Exchange
- Go to a wounded place
- Sit awhile and share your stories of what the place means to you
- Spend some time getting to know the place as it is now
- Make a gift of beauty for the place