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Go into Thanksgiving this year with a renewed sense of appreciation, courtesy of 2020 and Covid-19!
It’s been debilitating in so many ways, but if anything we are more grateful for our families, our freedom, our jobs, and our health.
One way to pay it forward is to become more conscious of the way we consume and impact other people, which in essence is the way we impact our natural environment.
With this in mind, here are our tips for an eco-friendly Thanksgiving.
And for more details, check also the article from Porch: Creating a sustainable Thanksgiving celebration: Q&A with the experts
Use reusable crockery and cutlery (or choose disposables made of sustainable materials).
Paper and plastic cups, plates, knives and forks are convenient, but they are not sustainable, which is the problem with so many disposable or single-use items. If you’re catering for an outdoor event or a neighbourhood Thanksgiving celebration, we know we can’t expect you to bring out Grandma’s old dinner set, but we encourage you to opt for eco-friendly disposables, like bamboo or wood.
Cut out plastic décor
Plastic – again – comes up when an occasion like Thanksgiving comes around. We’re usually buying more and throwing away more. So, our plastic consumption (thus, disposal) grows exponentially. Just purchasing packaged food results in chucking so much plastic into the environment, never mind the extras, like décor.
“Approximately 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic, weighing 269,000 tons. That is about the same as 1345 adult blue whales. And 500 times the number of stars in our galaxy. I know which I would rather see,” says Surfers Against Sewage.
We appeal to our like-minded Wild Tribe to cut out unnecessary extras like fake flowers, fashion pumpkins, plastic bunting and paper napkins. Try use natural seasonal decorations like nuts, acorns, leaves, actual pumpkins, glass jars and bottles, and reusable, eco-friendly materials.
Reduce food waste and shop consciously
Food is a big part of Thanksgiving. Grandma’s recipes get dusted off and the internet comes alive with pumpkin-spiced everything. All of a sudden, we’re all chefs making pastry from scratch and roasting turkeys like pros. It’s so good to feast with friends and family, but it’s easy to fall into a buying culture that creates a lot of waste.
Food waste puts pressure on the environment in so many ways. It’s not just about where it goes after it’s tossed in the bin (it goes into a landfill and creates a lot of toxic methane gas). By the time the food is on our plate, think of all those resources that have gone into growing, preparing and cooking it. So many resources that have stressed the environment more than necessary.
“Food waste ends up wasting nearly a quarter of our water supply in the form of uneaten food or over $172 billion in wasted water,” says Forbes.
Being a conscious shopper can involve shopping locally instead of buying bulk commercially processed ingredients that require plenty of packaging and hours in transit. It can also mean incorporating more plant-based food because growing vegetables is far more environmentally friendly than mass produced animal products.
Give sustainable gifts
Finally, choose to give gifts that are kinder to the environment.
- Perhaps there’s someone you know who has a small business or makes things by hand or uses sustainable products – choose to support those people when you’re looking for a gift to buy instead of going commercial.
- Rethink wrapping gifts – ordinary wrapping paper is not recyclable, and it just goes straight into the trash and ends up in a landfill.
- Maybe gift an experience, like a spa treatment or a ticket to a game or a concert or access to a museum exhibition or a wine tasting.
- Choose Wild in Africa! Our beaded bracelets are made using sustainably sourced semi-precious gemstones, wood, and natural beads, and they are not wrapped in plastic. We also support 10 different charities that are making amazing differences in the world of wildlife and habitat conservation, from Africa to Fiji. We ship worldwide and have a range of unisex bracelets and stacks, some of which contribute 50% of the purchase price to a linked charity organisation.
We hope you go into Thanksgiving this year with plenty of gratitude and appreciation for all that this year has taught us. It’s an occasion to be conscious, slow down and think.
Share special moments with loved ones if you’re lucky enough to be together.
Making small changes as individuals has the power to impact our existence on this Earth as a whole.
Written by Chloe CooperDon’t miss out on future posts so be sure to sign up for our Wild Tribe (scroll below to sign up).
SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) is a global non-profit organisation that audits social and environmental performance to ensure improved working conditions throughout the supply chain globally.