Tips For A Sustainable Thanksgiving

Friends and family having a toast at a table

Written by TerraPass


Tips For A Sustainable Thanksgiving

Traveling to grandma’s house this Thanksgiving holiday?  The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days in the US.  It seems that everyone jumps on a plane or cruises out of the driveway headed to destinations both near and far.

And then there’s all that food. All those cocktails. All those calories and then…food coma! Of all the holidays on the calendar, Thanksgiving is the celebration that prompts us to overindulge. We eat, drink, then eat some more; and sometime in the late afternoon or early evening, we doze off in a turkey and pumpkin pie-induced mini coma.

From travel and logistics to decorations, entertainment and food preparation, the Thanksgiving holiday is equivalent to an environmental smack down.  With all the family, friends, celebrations and FOOD, it’s easy to forget about the impact the holiday has on our planet.  Here, we take a look at some of the basics of the average Turkey Day carbon footprint and tackle what can be done to mitigate the damage.

Tips For A Sustainable Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Car Travel: In 2015, people did a whole lot of driving and consumed plenty of gas – about 400 million gallons – to see their loved ones at Thanksgiving.  This adds up to 4.2 million metric tons of carbon emissions. If your destination is less than 500 miles away, the most eco-friendly method of transport is mass transit, such as trains or buses.

Tips For A Sustainable Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Air Travel: An average round-trip flight from New York to Los Angeles emits 2 metric tons of CO2. And with millions flying the friendly skies this holiday season, that’s a lot of greenhouse gas damage in just one weekend. If you’re going further distances, opt for a direct flight instead of making a layover. Planes use much of their fuel during takeoff, so the fewer departures you make, the better.

Thanksgiving Food:  For fewer leftovers, keep portion sizes in check. To summarize: For appetizers, you only need three or four bites per person, one bottle of wine for every three people, one cup of soup per diner, 3/4 cup of stuffing and potatoes and four ounces of greens for each person, and one pie for every eight guests.

Even with these tips in mind, it can be difficult to celebrate Thanksgiving in a completely eco-friendly manner. Fortunately, you can cancel out the carbon footprint of your Thanksgiving activities by purchasing Carbon Offsets from TerraPass. Offsets reduce your environmental footprint and support emission reduction projects that make a lasting difference to our planet.

For more eco-friendly holiday advice to serve you through the rest of the year and into 2017, stay connected to the TerraPass Footprint Blog. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, where we’re always sharing tips and information on living an eco-friendly, green lifestyle.


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