Published on November 24th, 2010 | by Dawn Killough1
How to Have a 'Green' Holiday
I know, Thanksgiving doesn’t have much, if anything, to do with green building. But as our society adopts a more ‘environmentally friendly’ attitude about everything, the holidays and how we celebrate them need to be a part of that. Here are a few ideas, culled from different sources, on how to make your celebration more sustainable.
- Give to those less fortunate than you – When I look around my house at all the ‘stuff’ I’ve accumulated, and think about those living out on the street with only a shopping cart to their name, or those who can’t afford to have a big dinner, I realize exactly how lucky I am. Why not give some of that bounty to those who are without? If you know someone who needs help, that would be best, as it gives a face to your generosity. Otherwise, donate food or money to one of the many wonderful organizations that desperately need help this season.
- Downsize – After realizing how much frivolous stuff I have, I am inclined to take things down a notch. Focus on the reason for the celebration. Focus on the people, not the things. Instead of making a large centerpiece, light a solitary candle (soy or beeswax, of course). Make less food so none goes to waste.
- Keep it local – TreeHugger.com has a challenge out there: all the food for the meal comes from within 100 miles of your location. This will be hard for some, easier for others. What about that trip to Grandma’s? Instead of a huge gathering at one location, why not have several smaller gatherings so visitors don’t have to travel as far? If you do travel, purchase carbon offsets, carpool, or use mass transit.
- The food- Organic is better. It tastes better and is usually fresher. Standard turkeys are unsustainable in so many ways. Buy free-range, organically fed, and/or heritage breed turkeys. Go vegetarian and get a tofurky or serve alternative dishes.
- Enjoy – Most of all, enjoy the time with friends and family. Sit back, relax, and connect with each other. That is what is truly important.
Have a wonderful holiday, no matter how you celebrate!