As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, it is a special time to reflect on the many things to be grateful for this holiday season. We often think of being grateful for the many people and blessings in our lives — our families and friendships, health, career, a warm home, a Thanksgiving feast with loved ones, complete with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy and turkey galore. Often overlooked in our society, however, is the quality of air we breathe every day.
As we plan out all the dishes that will be on our tables this year, it’s also important to consider the impacts that certain holiday traditions have on the planet. This Thanksgiving consider giving your holiday celebration extra meaning by making your day of thanks a greener and more eco-friendly one. A green Thanksgiving will enrich your family’s holiday experience by reducing the impact on the environment as you do your share for cleaner air. That’s something for which everyone can be thankful, but it’s particularly meaningful for children, older adults and those who suffer from lung diseases that make them especially vulnerable to poor air quality.
Start by sourcing as many of your ingredients as possible locally to help reduce emissions produced by transport trucks. The less your produce has to travel, the less waste is produced, and the smaller the environmental impact. With so many friends and family gathered at the table for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s also not uncommon for regular plates, cups, napkins and silverware to be swapped out for disposables. Instead of buying tableware for one-time use, opt for your favorite set of dishes this year. While this may lead to a little extra time spent at the kitchen sink, this small change leads to a much bigger impact, helping the region breathe easier.
With the holiday season also comes the spending season where so many take advantage of Black Friday and other exclusive deals. The thought of a new computer or flat screen television for an unbeatable price might sound enticing, but the environmental impacts of consumer spending are tremendous. Rather than participate in the Black Friday mania this year, consider keeping your wallet and the environment happy by cutting back on unnecessary spending and eliminating all the extra auto emissions associated with running from store to store. For those who can’t pass up the tempting Black Friday deals, consider online shopping from the comfort of your home. Doing so will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from consumer travel while delivery services optimize routes for fuel efficiency.
This Thanksgiving, when counting life’s blessings and listing those things to be grateful for, don’t forget to add clean air to the list. And thank you for all you do so we can all breathe easier. To learn more, visit our website tips section at www.cleanair-stlouis.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.