5 Easy Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving GreenerNov 22, 2019
- Use Reusable Materials
Everyone’s looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner, but we don’t always take the waste we create from using disposable plates, utensils, and cups into account. Put the Styrofoam away, and consider getting out the good china! Don’t have enough plates for everyone? You can always borrow extra plates beforehand or get more cutlery and china from the nearby thrift store. Make sure to bring reusable containers and Tupperware for leftovers too. If you can’t get any reusable dinnerware in time for Thanksgiving, consider buying disposable plates that are compostable, recyclable, or made from recycled materials.
- Buy Local Produce and Products
Support small businesses and farmers in your community by buying local products! Buying local helps to reduce fossil fuel use from transportation trucks. The reduced transportation time means you get fresher produce too. You can also look out for other eco-friendly products like local or organic wine (fun fact: look out for certifications like Napa Green, a sustainability certification program for vineyards and wineries in the Napa Valley).
- Buy Products with Reduced Packaging
Be on the lookout for products with eco-friendly and/or minimal packaging when going Thanksgiving or Black Friday shopping. While those Black Friday deals sound tempting, be mindful of the waste that will be produced as a result. Approximately 164 million people plan to go shopping between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday—you can imagine the amount of waste generated from throwing out packaging alone! Keep the packaging to a minimum, and remember to bring reusable bags to the stores with you
- Carpool, Carpool, Carpool!
It’s Thanksgiving, which means a lot of us will be traveling many miles to share a meal with friends and family. Some of us might choose to fly, drive, or take a train or bus. But did you know that a flight from the West coast to the East coast of the United States produces, at minimum, 1 metric ton of Carbon Dioxide? So, this Thanksgiving, let’s try our best to minimize our carbon footprint when we travel. Some ways to reduce your travel carbon footprint are to carpool, take public transportation, take a train or bus, or even walk if your destination is nearby! If you’re taking a flight, consider purchasing carbon offsets and taking non-stop flights. If you’re driving, make sure that your tires and properly inflated to optimize your fuel efficiency.
- Compost your Scraps
Americans waste around 172 million pounds of turkey every Thanksgiving. Make sure to compost your kitchen scraps this Thanksgiving so they don’t end up in landfills where they take up space and produce methane, a greenhouse gas, from the decomposition process. Don’t have a compost but want to start? The EPA has a great guide to getting started on composting at home!