With Thanksgiving around the corner, there’s lots to be thankful for. This is a great time to reflect on our blessings and spend time with your loved ones, friends and family. This holiday season we encourage everyone to celebrate in a way that keeps your family healthy, honors creation and minimizes your carbon footprint.
Here are a few sustainable ideas that can turn into new holiday traditions, while creating an eco-friendly, and healthy Thanksgiving for all!
Shop & Eat Locally
The fall is a great time to visit the local farmer’s markets and pick this seasons best produce. Apples, squash, nuts are just a few familiar items. Not only will picking these items are great for the holiday plate, but can also make a beautiful cornucopia center piece. Bring your own bags for carrying your groceries, and for the produce you buy. Instead of grabbing pre-packaged, choose loose fruit and vegetables and put it in your own small bag. Not only will this reduce waste, but it will also reduce carbon emissions in our landfills.
Organic and Humanely Raised
Organic labeled produce and meats, ensures that the food you feed your family is grown and raised without pesticides, hormones or genetically modified. Make sure to read labels, and look for key terms like: free-range, grass fed, USDA Certified organic, or sustainable. This will help to promote clean eating and putting blha blah into your body
When we prepare for the main event, we don’t think about the global impact in takes to prepare a simple turkey dinner. On an average, the nation cooks about 46 million birds a year on Thanksgiving; 26 million of those turkeys are cooked with electricity. On average a turkey takes 4 hours of cooking time, and at 8kWh per household, that equals to $25 million spent on electricity to cook it.
An alternative is to cook your turkey with solar! Choosing to cook with solar will lessen your carbon footprint, and your electric bill. The greenest way to cook a turkey is to use a smoker. With proper planning, smoking a turkey can take about 8 hours on average for a large turkey. A Thanksgiving dinner tip to help save you time and money: cook your sides in the same oven when the turkey is roasting.
Get Creative with Leftovers
Growing, cooking and wasted food creates one-third of U.S. carbon emissions. Food waste has increased as the population has grown, and on the other side, there are millions of people who don’t have enough to eat. So this holiday season, its good to be conscience of what we are buying, and only buying what we need. Separate your food waste, and compost instead. Donate to local charities if there are excess food, and after the big dinner, it’s a good idea to get creative with the leftovers.
Thermostat: turn down the heat. Cooking will warm up the house!
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