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Thankful for Better Air Quality

Make way for food and family gatherings, because Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Even with the holidays coming around, it is still important to be conscious of the environment, especially the atmosphere. Spending the weekend with family and shopping for groceries or gifts means that a lot of time will be spent on the road. The more emissions are released into the atmosphere, the greater our air quality is reduced. Here are some ways to have a more air-conscious Thanksgiving:

Be smart on the road. Thanksgiving not only means being thankful for friends and family, but we can also be grateful for our air! To show thanks this year, make sure your car is properly maintained to ensure there isn’t any unnecessary vehicle emissions released into the atmosphere. If you are taking a road trip or driving across town to see family and friends, make sure to check traffic before you go. Checking for road congestion will save you both time and fuel, as well as decreasing the amount of emissions that are radiated into the atmosphere. Use the 511DFW app and website to plan your trip ahead of time!

Be thankful, not wasteful. Wasted food ends up in landfills, making it the third largest source of methane emissions in the country. Instead of letting your leftovers waste away in a landfill, consider composting them either in your garden or bring it to your local composting facility (if available). Don’t want to let go of the delicious Thanksgiving spread? Turn those leftovers into tomorrow’s lunch! Too many mashed potatoes? Make a mashed potato pizza or waffles made out of stuffing; the options are endless! Click here for more recipes.

Save the turkey. Did you know that animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions? According to the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems, meat products have a larger carbon footprint because of the inefficient transformation of plant energy to animal energy. Animals such as cattle and sheep produce 170 million metric tons of methane through digestion alone. Organic foods only require about 30-50% less energy during production but requires 1/3 more hours of human labor compared to typical farming practices and are considered more expensive. So, this year switch it up with a “tofurkey” (is faux turkey, a meat substitute in the form of a loaf or casserole of vegetarian protein, usually made from tofu or seitan with a stuffing made from grains or bread, flavored with a broth and seasoned with herbs and spices. Tofurkey is oven-roasted or baked and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans), or other meat alternatives to help reduce emissions coming from the factories. Look here for other alternatives for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Shop consciously. Grocery shopping for the family dinner? Visit the nearest farmers market to buy locally grown produce. Buying food from the farmers market reduces the amount of fuel that is used to ship the produce to grocery stores. Skip the Black Friday crowd and lines this year by participating in Cyber Monday. As you shop online, try to place one single order to reduce the number of trips needed to make a delivery to your house! Click here for more tips on how to shop “sustainably” on Black Friday.

With these tips, you can have a great Thanksgiving holiday with the family while being environmentally- conscious of our air quality. By living consciously, it benefits both you and your family for a better atmosphere. Let’s show thanks for both our air quality plus friends and family this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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