Green Up Your Turkey Day

With Thanksgiving around the corner, there is no doubt that most of us are more than ready for the holidays.  Although you’re taking a mental break from school, be sure to stay mindful when it comes to your environmental impact.

There are some easy ways to stay green over the holidays without having to ruin your traditional Turkey Day.  Take charge of your family’s eco-responsibility and convince your family green up their holiday.  Hey, you may even get Grandma Doris talking about something other than the fact that you “still” don’t have a boyfriend.

Getting home
If you drive: Carpool with friends to save on gas money and minimize pollution.  Be sure you all time your travels so that you don’t hit traffic and waste unnecessary gas in gridlock.  Leave with plenty of time so you or the driver doesn’t have to speed down the freeway.  Reducing your speed from just 70 to 60 MPH can severely reduce the amount of money and gas your trip guzzles.

If you fly:  Pay the extra money for a direct flight, as takeoff and landing require the most fuel of any other part of the flight.  If you have the resources, buy carbon offset credits along with your flight in order to reduce your footprint.  Many companies, such as Continental, allow you to easily purchase carbon offset credits online before your flight.

Eating Dinner
Buying the bird
:  If you just can’t bear a tofurky, you can still buy a real turkey that is relatively environmentally friendly.  All you have to do is buy from a local farmer.  Go to this site to find a turkey farmer in your area.  If for some reason local just doesn’t work for you, look for the labels mentioned in my last post such as grass-fed, cage free, or free range to slightly improve your turkey decision.

Hosting the dinner: Invite as many people over as you can!  More is not just merrier – it also reduces the work and money spent by your parents for a nice meal.  Plus, combining resources and energy can really decrease your environmental impact.

Dealing with the leftovers:  To reduce food waste and possible turkey overdose, give your guests some of the leftovers to take home.  Also, be sure to store your own leftovers in a reusable container like Tupperware so that you don’t waste plastic bags on one use.  If you don’t think you’ll be eating another bite of turkey for a while, you can also store it in the freezer along with your vegetables to use on a later occasion.

These are just a few examples of the many ways you can green up your Thanksgiving. There are always opportunities to be eco-friendly – get creative with your own traditions!  And of course, let us know what you do at home so we can all test it out this holiday season.

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