Tips for a Sustainable Thanksgiving: How to Have a 100-Mile Holiday [INFOGRAPHIC]
Did you know that buying food items from big chains can promote unnecessary oil consumption? This Thanksgiving, think sustainably by buying ingredients made locally, within 100 miles of your home. Even if you source just one dish locally, you can decrease the amount of fuel needed to transport your meal and help create a more sustainable holiday.
How Far Does Produce Travel?
Conventionally sourced produce tend to travel long distances, in fact thousands of miles more than locally sourced produce. For example apples will typically travel over 1,700 miles before they reach your dinner table; beans over 1,300; and broccoli, carrots, garlic, lettuce and spinach over 1,800.
Making a trip to the farmers market can save the environment on fuel emissions and grant you higher quality produce, too.
Why You Should Choose Local, Seasonal and Organic
Good for your taste buds: The varieties of meat and produce found on smaller farms offer more flavor and a unique taste you wouldn’t experience in food from major farms.
Good for the environment: Reduce the negative impacts of industrial farming by supporting small, sustainable farms that practice environmentally friendly farming methods. Buying from local farms also reduces the carbon emissions of transporting your food.
Good for community: When you buy local, more of the money you spend is funneled back into your community. This helps sustain more jobs in your area.
Good for the water: Nonorganic agricultural activity accounted for 48% of pollution in streams and rivers and 41% in lakes.
Good for animals: When you buy meat from local farms, it’s often easier to ensure that the animals were treated humanely and did not suffer through factory farming.
Good for your health: Fresh produce lose their nutrients quickly. For this reason it’s best to buy food soon after it’s harvested, which is possible at your local farmers market.
Don’t Add to America’s Waste
The U.S. wastes 40% of its total food! Make sure you don’t contribute to this statistic. First, make sure you prepare for leftovers. Keep reusable containers on hand and, when dinner’s done, pack leftovers and for your guests to take home. You can even share recipes with friends for creative meals to make with the leftovers. You can also freeze cooking scraps like bones and vegetables to use as ingredients in future meals.
Next, save trees! Always use real plates and silverware when serving Thanksgiving dinner. If every family in the U.S. bought one less package of paper plates this year, for example, we could save many trees.
So how about it: will you take the 100-mile pledge this Thanksgiving?