HuffPost author Alexandra Emanuelli suggests canceling Thanksgiving to save the planet from global warming, because traveling to your loved ones will cause environmental damage.
Her article starts with a reminder that Trump is withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement — a pact in which nearly 200 countries set their own national targets for reducing the pollution of heat-trapping gases, Newsbusters reports. “With that in mind, one wonders: How much damage are we doing with our epic Thanksgiving meal every year?” Emanuelli writes. She talked to researchers in an attempt to calculate “Thanksgiving’s carbon footprint.”
Emanuelli discovered, “It turns out that your food isn’t the biggest holiday culprit of carbon dioxide emissions — traveling for the meal is.”
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“No one should be discouraged from enjoying the holiday or celebrating with family and friends,” she continues. “We’re here to provide insight into the ingredients and dishes that have the largest ecological impact” and “suggestions and alternative ingredients that cause less environmental damage.”
“Consider Taking The Turkey Out Of The Turkey Dinner” the research says, adding that “the carbon footprint of a 16-pound turkey creates a total of 34.2 pounds of CO2 — the same amount produced by turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, rolled biscuits and apple pie combined.”
“Go for a plant-based source. Instead of more turkey, help yourself to an extra slice of pumpkin pie or an additional serving of squash soup.”
She recommends staying away from “exotic or specialty ingredients” from outside the country “due to the energy expended transporting them.” Instead, they suggest “sourcing your ingredients locally to limit your impact” and “lessening your food miles.” One expert noted that “food miles are complicated by other things as well, e.g. food production in developing countries provides a source of income and potentially a livelihood for the farmers in that country.”
As for leftovers, Emanuelli cites a USDA statistic that says, “30 to 40% of America’s food supply is wasted, making a good argument for pairing down the endless sides and apps and selecting a few key dishes to ensure more is eaten.” She writes that “a recent graduate of the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon said ‘It may help the environment if [your guests] stayed home and cooked their own meal.’”
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