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Giving Thanks the Sustainable Way

As the next holiday of the season slowly approaches, many are putting travel plans together while daydreaming about grandmother’s famous pumpkin pie. This Thanksgiving, you will be spending time with family, eating, watching football, and eating some more. One important element that you should consider is the impact you will make on the environment. There are a few simple ideas you can still incorporate into your Thanksgiving holiday to help improve air quality and make a shift towards sustainability. Here are the top ways to have a fun, eco-friendly Thanksgiving.

Carpool or stay home

Are you planning on traveling out of town this holiday season? In 2016, an estimated 278 million gallons of gas were used for Thanksgiving travel alone. Consider carpooling with other family members and friends to reduce emissions. If you’re really in the spirit, celebrate the holiday at home with your immediate family and nearby friends. Reducing emissions to help improve air quality is one way to give thanks to Mother Nature.

Plan your meal

When planning the big Thanksgiving meal and making your grocery lists, try going organic. Are there any local farmers markets with locally grown fruits and vegetables in your area? If meat is planned for the holiday meal, consider purchasing meat that has been sustainably raised. Skip the disposable plates and pull out the old china at home. Doing this will help reduce landfill waste.

Save your leftovers

Americans waste an average of 35 million pounds of turkey each Thanksgiving. There are a few different ways to address this problem. One way is to use leftovers to make other tasteful dishes such as turkey and string bean pot pie or leftover Thanksgiving paninis. After about the second day we quickly get tired of repeatedly eating the same thing, so another option is to compost your leftovers. Your fruits and vegetables make excellent compost materials. Find a local compost in your city or make a personal compost in your own home.

Spend time with family

Instead of sitting in a food coma after eating all of the delicious food, consider getting your family up and moving. Spend some time outdoors to burn off some calories and promote healthy habits with some fun activities like football, relay races, or kickball. Search for things such as fallen leaves, pinecones, and acorns. Use these to make your own beautiful, realistic

decorations and centerpieces. And don’t forget to share all that you are thankful for with your family and friends.

Keep these green ideas in mind this Thanksgiving, and you are sure to have a sustainable, eco-friendly holiday. Challenge yourself to incorporate these into your everyday lifestyle even after the holiday is over; and most importantly, have a happy Thanksgiving!

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