Another holiday, another opportunity to save on food, money, and resources! Here’s 5 tips to lower your environmental impact and have a sustainable Thanksgiving.
1. Go turkeyless
Abstaining from a processed, store-bought turkey this year lightens your carbon footprint by loads. Poultry is considered a “high impact” generator of greenhouse gases, especially when raised in a factory farm. According to the Center for Food Safety, it takes over 900,000 barrels of oil to ship Thanksgiving turkeys in America. Not to mention, the intense cruelty many animals face in factory farms is staggering.
If a Thanksgiving without turkey is completely out of the question for your family, try buying one from a local farm. They often don’t employ the same cruel methods as corporate farms, and it promotes your community’s economy.
2. Buy local foods
Check your local farmer’s market for seasonal produce before heading to the grocery store. Choosing closer suppliers lowers your fossil fuel footprint. Industrial food often travels thousands of miles to get to your grocery store, racking up a carbon footprint and losing nutritional value every step of the way.
3. Cut down on solid waste
Utilize reusable dishes and try buying recycled napkins. We don’t need any more paper or plastic clogging our landfills and polluting our oceans.
4. Cook only as much as you’ll eat
The National Resources Defense Council estimates that Americans throw away around 40% of their food every Thanksgiving. They also say that we waste over $200,000,000 in turkey every year. This needlessly contributes to billions of gallons of water waste and tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Freeze your leftovers and eat them later. That will save you time and money.
5. Skip Black Friday
Black Friday, ruled by big companies, promotes overspending and corporate greed. It’s also often dangerous, the needless death toll climbing yearly. Millions of retail workers lose their Thanksgiving every year because of the success of the “holiday”. Decide if you really need to trample others for a half-priced toaster before you head to Walmart.