Peace On Earth As Guests Of The Earth 

Theri Griego Raby, MD, ABIHM


Guest of the Earth


Every year around the holidays, I marvel at the glittering lights on Michigan Avenue below our windows, the gifts wrapped in shiny paper and ribbon that dot our desks, and the touching cards full of warm wishes from our patients. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or the Lunar New Year, this is a truly magical time, when so much good is happening at once.


Yet, as heartwarming as the holidays are, I can't help but wonder about the waste we collectively generate. From wrapping paper to greeting cards, how do our good intentions affect our planet? We are, after all, guests of the Earth, here for a finite time. Every day, we should actively try to leave this place better off than when we arrived.


According to Use Less Stuff, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash than during any other time of year. That equates to 25 million tons of garbage-about one million extra tons per week. 


Those statistics are startling, but there are steps we can all take to lessen the waste. We think of the Earth in everything we do at the Raby Institute-from the design of our sustainable space (which uses tapes and glues free of anthropogenic VOCs), to the fair-trade and chemical-free products available in Alma. The holidays should be no different.


However, a holiday season this encompassing will take effort from all of us-no matter how small. Take a first step by re-using the bags from your purchases in Alma. Send electronic cards, or ones made from recycled material. Wrap gifts in paper grocery bags or old maps, and decorate with stamps or drawings. Check our blog for even more ideas.


The steps we take together as conscious guests of our Earth will ensure its life and beauty for decades after us. That sounds like the best kind of gift to me.


Warm and happy holidays to you and yours this season!


Here's to your health,






Theri Griego Raby, MD, ABIHM

"Dr. Raby's approach to patient care is advanced far beyond that of other physicians. She has a softened, holistic approach to healing. She is caring, takes her time with patients and incorporates the spiritual aspects, which is a very important part of healing."
- Raby Institute patient