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Green Tips: Thanksgiving 2020

Green Tips | November 12, 2020

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Unfortunately, like many holidays, celebrating this one can impact our environment. Check out our tips below to find out how to make it more eco-friendly.


Interestingly, Thanksgiving travel has a larger carbon footprint than the dinner itself. If you have to travel for Thanksgiving, try to avoid using your car, or if possible, carpool with close family members. While travelling by car may reduce exposure to and transmission of COVID-19, using public transportation isn’t as risky as you may think. Just be sure to follow the proper safety precautions when riding public transportation. If you’re still uncomfortable using public transportation, consider renting an electric vehicle (EV) instead of using a gas-powered car. There are plenty of EV charging stations to work into your trip. 

The Meal

The carbon dioxide emissions from a 16-pound turkey equal the combined emissions from nearly all dinner sides, as well as the apple pie! Meats and animal products in general have a larger carbon footprint than plants, so the least emission-intense Thanksgiving meal is a vegetarian or plant-based one. Consider Turkey alternatives, or avoid food waste by saving leftovers and putting on your plate only what you will eat. Americans throw away an astonishing 200 million pounds of turkey every year! Also consider buying an organic turkey, which forego harmful antibiotics and pesticides. Conventional turkeys can promote the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Support Local Farms & Food Markets

Buying locally raised turkeys is beneficial for a number of reasons. For one, transportation emissions are lower for local turkeys. Additionally, visiting a local farm to buy your turkey supports the local economy, and you can inquire about the use of sustainable or organic farming practices. Click here for a list of turkey farms in upstate New York. 

On your way to pick up the turkey, be sure to stop at a local food market! Locally-grown fruits and vegetables are fresher and more nutrient-dense than the supermarket alternative. Click here to find a farmers market in New York State. 

Spread Awareness about Environmental Issues

Consider using mealtime to discuss environmental issues that are important to you. Inform family members of sustainable practices or pressing environmental issues and come prepared with statistics or tips. Don’t forget to give thanks to the planet that sustains us…even better if sharing the gratitude with loved ones! 

Thanks for tuning in for this week’s Green Tips! Be sure to come back next week for how to reduce food waste this Thanksgiving season.

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