$2.4Billion on average is spent each year on Thanksgiving feast ingredients. Let us try imagining this figure for a moment.
It is not an unfathomable, abstract number but rather the sum of all of our personal consumption. Individually, we all consume. Imagine what good could be done with this amount of money if it was spent consciously and with some consideration? It really depends on the way in which you look at it. $2.4billion is an overwhelming figure but in that there is some power for change. So lets stop and think about this for a moment.
How do we want to distribute our money this Thanksgiving? Lets do good! Our suggestion is to make strong, conscious decisions this year, think about which products you buy, how you travel, how you dispose of waste, and what you do with leftovers. Small alterations to our regular decision making processes can make an enormous difference when we do it together!
What can we do for a more conscious Thanksgiving?
o Buy locally. Use your local markets; try making the extra effort to go to the farmers market. Your local farmers are also the best place to find heritage, free range Turkeys. Consider each purchase you make as an act that has the possibility to create change. It may seem small but every decision can make a big difference collectively.
o Ask. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about where the food you are buying comes from. These are important conversations to have and the more we have them, the better. Many people will be proud to tell you where the products they sell come from. If they’re not, then it’s possible you want to look further.
o Spread the word. Talking about the things you bring to your dinner table in an open and inviting way is a great way to get other’s engaged.
o 65million Americans travel for Thanksgiving each year, if you can, spare a thought for your travel method. Use public transport where possible, or perhaps share rides?
o Compost. Composting your food waste is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your meal. If you have plenty of leftovers, you could also offer to someone in need of food. As a family or individual it can be hard to donate your food to agencies who feed the homeless due to safety regulations, however you can always directly give leftovers away yourself. If you have a restaurant or provide food services there are some great companies that help deal with the redistribution of food excess.
o Serve your meal on real dishes, using disposable plates and cutlery is certainly convenient but they are a colossal waste of resources. The process of doing dishes can be turned into a fun shared experience for everyone!
While we want you to be aware of your consumer decisions this Thanksgiving, we also want you to enjoy yourself. After all, Thanksgiving is a great time to spend with loved ones enjoying the experience of a meal together, the scale of luxury in this meal varies hugely amongst Americans. 20% of adults have said that at some time they have struggled to afford the food that they’re family needs. Having trouble affording food is not a desirable situation for anyone, however it is not the same as having no money for food at all and suffering the hunger consequences of it. Buy consciously and please give where you can to those who are not able to afford food themselves this year.
Public holidays and times of collectivity are a great opportunity to consider our actions together. It can be time to stop and reflect, give thanks and make decisions about the way in which we want to live in this world together.