|Here are some easy ways to make this Thanksgiving enjoyable, giveback to your community, protect the environment, and be a tad easier on the waistline:
* Enjoy time with your family and friends. If you can’t be there in person, give someone a call and pass on your good wishes. This is a great way to have a more sustainable and thankful spirit. * Don’t over eat. Over eating isn’t good for you or the environment. So go easy on the pumpkin pie no matter how good it tastes.
* Meet a farmer or hunter. Consider getting your food from someone you know. If any of your friends are hunters, perhaps they can share some venison steaks with you instead of turkey, as deer overpopulation is a big problem in many parts of the US. And if you’re a hunter, consider sharing with your friends.
* Purchase local and organic foods. There are significant benefits for purchasing locally grown foods and especially organic foods. Its healthier and buying locally circulates money back into your community. And the big plus, free range and naturally fed animals just taste better. Sometimes these choices may seem cost-prohibitive, however just buying even one or two items locally and/or organically grown can make a big difference.
* Select antibiotic- and hormone-free turkeys. Industrial turkey growers often put antibiotics in the feed just to make sure the turkeys don’t get sick, but the overuse of antibiotics is what is leading to the development of super-bugs. And some of these industrial producers feed the turkeys hormones so they can more quickly put on weight, but low dose exposure to hormones can affect human development, especially in children.
* Eat your veggies. In general, veggies take one-tenth the inputs (i.e. water, energy, fuels, fertilizers, etc.) to produce a pound of protein compared to meat. And veggies can be quite appetizing and fun.
* Skip the bottled water. We need to get away from our obsession with drinking bottled water. It costs hundreds of times more for bottled water compared to tap, and in the US it is unnecessary in most areas. Today Americans discard about 34 million tons of plastic each year, but only 6.5 percent of it is recycled and 7.7 percent is combusted in waste-to-energy facilities, which create electricity or heat from garbage. The rest ends up in landfills where it may take up to 1,000 years to decompose. * Clean-up with greener cleaning products. Especially for those of you in the cleaning and facility management business, please practice what is preached. Use this as a “teachable moment” to explain to your family and friends that green cleaning products have reduced negative impacts on your health and the environment.
* Enjoy the outdoors. The temperature around Thanksgiving is perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Connecting with nature doesn’t have to involve hiking up a mountain, just being outside and feeling the sun on your face improves your mood and health greatly. And we really do live in a beautiful place.
I hope you’ll have a Happy Thanksgiving.