Here at tentree, we’re looking forward to logging off today and diving headfirst into the Thanksgiving long weekend. As always, we’re feeling extra grateful for the beautiful nature that surrounds us and the opportunity to get outside and enjoy it.
Many of us are fortunate enough to celebrate with friends and family and indulge in a bountiful fall feast — where it’s often tradition for turkey to star as the leading dish. We know it’s called tradition for a reason, and switching out classics can be challenging, but we wanted to share some food for thought when it comes to this Thanksgiving staple.
While turkey has a slightly smaller carbon footprint than, say beef or lamb production, there’s still an environmental toll to pay. The average turkey you’ll find in the grocery store, weighing approximately 15 lbs, requires roughly 74 kg of CO2 to produce. (This calculation includes all the emissions produced on the farm, in the factory, on the road, in the shop, and in your home.) To put this number into context, this is the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions you’d produce if you drove 273.5 km.
When you take into account that last Thanksgiving Canadians purchased 2.5 million whole turkeys, the impact on the planet really starts to add up. That being said, there’s absolutely no judgment if turkey has a starring role on your plate this year. Maybe next year you’ll switch things up, but just knowing these facts and being mindful of your impact means you’re getting Environmental-ish.
Turkey aside, another easy Environmental-ish step you can take this year when planning your menu is to lead with plant-based dishes made from locally grown produce. The carbon footprint of these sides is drastically smaller, you’re supporting local growers, and let’s be honest, they taste delicious.
To give you some inspiration, we’ve pulled together a list of delicious crowd-pleasing veggie and vegan dishes you can’t go wrong with.
- Sweet Potato Tahini Soup
- Pear Salad with Balsamic and Walnuts
- Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette
- Brussels Sprout Slaw with Coconut Bacon
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Maple-Roasted Carrots
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes
- Simple Vegan Stuffing
- Creamy Pumpkin Risotto
- Cauliflower Steaks and Purée with Walnut-Caper Salsa
- Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
A kind reminder to reduce waste by always storing and enjoying your leftovers and using the compost bin to dispose of any food scraps. We’re grateful for this planet we call home, and for the small steps you’re taking to make it a better place.