Tips for a Sustainable Thanksgiving

November 25, 2019

The holidays are just about here, which usually means lots of food, travel, family, and friends. But they don’t have to be wasteful. Here are some ways to make this Thanksgiving more sustainable!

Plan Ahead: Americans throw away a lot of food — approximately 165 billion dollars’ worth annually. And turkey waste from Thanksgiving alone accounts for 200 million pounds of that. To stay on top of your portions this year, consider a potluck-style meal or try to gauge how much food you’ll need based on your guest count. And compost and save leftovers when you can!

Shop Local: Before rushing out to eat yourself into a Thanksgiving-inspired food coma, think about where your food comes from. When working through your shopping list, consider local options. You’ll be supporting your community and eating fresher food that hasn’t racked up as many transportation miles.

Be Mindful of Travel: AAA expects 2019 to be the second-busiest Thanksgiving travel year ever, with 55 million Americans hitting the roads and taking to the skies for trips of 50+ miles. Consider celebrating Thanksgiving closer to home or offsetting your carbon emissions with our validated and verified travel offsets. Also, if you are driving, try carpooling and make sure your tires are inflated. Properly inflated tires improve fuel efficiency, meaning fewer emissions and cleaner air.

Use Reusable Dinnerware: Stick with dishwasher-friendly dinnerware and avoid one-time-use paper and plastic products. When it’s time to clean, save water by just scraping (and not washing) your plates and utensils before loading them.

Connect with Others, Nature: Thanksgiving is a time to connect with family and friends, but it can also be a great opportunity to connect with nature. Spend time outdoors, go for a hike, or just feel the sun on your face (and try leaving the devices at home to save some energy!).