Sustainability might not be at the top of your list for Thanksgiving preparations, but it has never been easier to green up your holiday this year! As we focus on food, family and reflection it’s important to take into account the impact we have on our planet this season. Below you will find 7 easy tips that will help you host a delicious meal while also helping prevent greenhouse gas emissions, limit your waste and contribute to a more sustainable food system. Cheers!

1. Thanksgiving Turkey Alternatives

Limiting your meat consumption is something that many associate with a more environmentally friendly meal. You can skip the turkey altogether (here are some great alternative turkey recipes) or simply limit the portions per person. Purchasing less can make an enormous difference! Did you know that about 46 million turkeys are consumed annually for this holiday alone?

2. Speaking of food, did you know…

Americans throw away roughly $165 billion in uneaten food every year, according to government data. And about $293 million of that waste will happen during Thanksgiving — and that’s just for turkey alone. Freezing food, eating leftovers, and using scraps for cooking stock are some easy ways to limit your household waste. All the extra unusable scraps can be composted! If you don’t have a home compost there are several resources to local compost drops: Whole Foods Markets, compost drop offs in California, or even a quick good search for “local compost drop off” can help you find where you can get rid of your waste responsibly!

3. Holiday Travel Plans

While most people are staying home this holiday season, if you are traveling to visit family and friends, you can limit your carbon footprint by driving instead of flying. Driving will also limit your human interactions preventing the potential spread of illness.

4. Reusable Cookware

By using a durable and reusable roasting pan you can limit your waste – especially when you think about how many turkeys are made a year. This can apply outside of cookware by also using ceramic plates and silverware as opposed to paper plates and plastic utensils. Although, this may be more impactful when gathering in large groups it is still a great reminder if you resort to disposable ware during the holidays.

5. Saving Water

As you know Calsense is all about water! There are two main ways you can save water this Thanksgiving, avoid bottled water and using the dishwasher. Avoiding plastic water bottles will not only limit plastic waste but it is more often cheaper to use a filter at home. If you must use disposable water bottles opt for paper or cardboard boxed water. The second tip suggests using a dishwasher instead of handwashing when you can, is also a great and easy way to save water. A new ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher uses less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand and saves nearly 5,000 gallons of water a year!

We hope you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy spending time with family whether that is in person or virtually! For more holiday tips and sustainable thoughts check out our archive of articles here.

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