Give Thanks for the Environment

Andrew Yee / Flickr

Thanksgiving is not only a time for family and friends but also a celebration of the environment and all it provides for us. You can make it truly sustainable by following these tips:

  • Travel light: Heading home for the holidays? If you have the time, why not take a train, which produces less carbon than planes or cars? If your destination requires you to fly or drive, consider purchasing carbon offsets from The Nature Conservancy or
  • Feast on local, seasonal foods: Fruits and vegetables in season for the late fall don’t need to be trucked around the country, and your purchases support your community. Use the Eat Local tool from EarthShare member organization Natural Resources Defense Council to find farmers’ markets your area, and then visit American Farmland Trust to learn why supporting local agriculture is so important.
  • Use natural decorations: Forgo craft store supplies for beautiful, biodegradable decorations you can find in nature. Pinecones, gourds, leaves, and acorns are just some of the materials that can add seasonal ambience to your dining room. Here are some ideas from Real Simple.
  • Purchase a heritage turkey… Most industrialized turkeys are raised with hormones to force them to gain weight very quickly – so quickly they can hardly move. Heritage turkeys, in contrast, are similar to their wild cousins: they’re slower growing, smaller, tastier, and treated more humanely.
  • …or go meatless: Most of your Thanksgiving feast is meatless anyway. Why not try some of the countless vegetarian (meat-free) and vegan (free of all animal products including dairy) alternatives to classic Thanksgiving recipes? Here are some suggestions.
  • Compost kitchen scraps: All those squash peels and carrot tops could be working to enrich your potting soil. Invest in a compost bin and turn your kitchen scraps into something useful instead of throwing them away.




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