Giving Thanks to Planet Earth

If carnivorous gluttony, sports marathons and planning for Black Friday are still in your lifestyle’s repertoire, then as a species we are surely doomed. The way we Americans spend this day and our year end ‘holidays’ is actually the antithesis of sustainable living.

Let me dish out the carbon footprint guilt:

  1. Your Thanksgiving feast (Turkey, cranberries, vegetables, pie and wine) will produce approximately 44 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
  2. A 160-pound person would have to walk 30 miles just to burn 3000 calories of that holiday repast.
  3. According to the EPA, the period from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent in the US. That amounts to an extra 5 million tons of household waste each year.
  4. Shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons create an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills.
  5. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, the passenger vehicles shuttling holiday travelers will travel 980 million miles, burn 40.8 million gallons of gasoline, require $132.6 million to $138.7 million for fuel, and emit more than 362,000 metric tons of CO2.

However you spend your Thanksgiving or Unthanksgiving, I ask that you think about using our planet’s remaining resources wisely.

First “Unthanksgiving” at Alcatraz 1969 via IndianCountryTodayMediaNetwork

Going Native: My Sustainable Un-Thanksgiving (Week #45) (2015)

A TerraBlu Thanksgiving (2011)

HOW DO NATIVE AMERICANS CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING? U.S. HOLIDAY A DAY OF MOURNING FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (Newsweek, 11/22/17)

This Is Your Thanksgiving on Climate Change: How will your Turkey Day staples fare in a warming world?

Thanksgiving dinner’s carbon footprint, (Chicago Tribune)

The environmental costs of a Thanksgiving meal; ‘food miles’ and other damage (Washington Post)

The Environmental Working Group Report

The Environmental Toll of Thanksgiving

Seven Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving Greener

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