gracious and green thanksgiving tips for all-year round
- Change the word order: Thanksgiving
Switch the order of words around from time to time. Something so simple can make one consider a concept in a different light. Often times a word or phrase loses its meaning and the original purpose gets lost.
- When you sit down for a meal, look around, light a candle, breathe in the peace of having a roof over your head, safety. Many people in the world could only wish to be so lucky.
- Use cloth napkins, real flatware, cups and dishes. Take time to care for these items. This is ecologically friendly and creates a formality in commonplace. Real tableware can be special everyday if you make it special. I know from experience that many family gatherings opt for plastic disposable utensils, cups and dishes to make things easier. And while, yes, it may be easier to just throw a plastic fork away in the trash, the disposal in reality is not easy. Millions of tons of discarded plastic ends up in the ocean.
MotherJones Article: Impact Analysis of Single Use Plastic Disposable Cutlery (https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/07/are-alternate-utensils-for-take-out-an-envrioment-friendly-option/)
Impact Analysis of Single Use Plastic Disposable Cutlery (https://commons.pratt.edu/sesresearch/wp-content/uploads/sites/157/2017/12/Aswitha_Kadekar-Capstone_Presentation.pdf)
- Give thanks to the carefree ease of loading the dishwasher rather than by washing those dishes by hand. Built in dishwashers are more environmentally efficient use of water and soap. (https://www.treehugger.com/kitchen-design/built-in-dishwashers-vs-hand-washing-which-is-greener.html)
WE HAVE A LOT OF RESOURCES THAT WE TAKE FOR GRANTED
Read excerpt from Oxford University Press article about Environmental Privilege:
Environmental privilege is a related phenomena, and while it seems to be an understudied area of privilege (and not the only one) it is still important, probably more than we realize. One way I teach about privilege is through the lens of the Person in Environment perspective. Looking at any human being, we can see that their particular personhood—built on their age, gender, race, and wealth status—combines with their environment—a conglomeration of geography, culture, space and time—to create a type of privilege. This privilege reflects itself in a person’s lived experiences, including their experiences of nature’s bounties and burdens.
The best place to begin learning about any privilege is self-examination.
Excerpt from article reflecting on Environmental Privilege from Stanford (https://www.stanforddaily.com/2015/05/06/environmental-justice-lessons-for-the-wilderness-romantic/)
It’s a privilege to be able to travel to national parks, buy organic food or drive an electric car. It’s a privilege to be distanced from the world’s most pressing environmental issues: Rainforest destruction happens on other continents and river cleanups happen in other neighborhoods. It’s a privilege to periodically worry about these issues, rather than confronting them daily. Thanks to various socioeconomic and political forces, it’s a privilege that exists only for a few — namely, members of the developed world’s upper classes.
As with other forms of privilege, environmental privilege comes with some massive blind spots.
- Give thanks to the ability to turn on the tap and drink clear, clean water. Water is a finite precious resource.
- Give thanks to the rainforests the “Lungs of the Earth” Watch a BBC video here: (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130226-amazon-lungs-of-the-planet)Although deforestation rates have now declined – hitting an all time low in 2011 – the forest is still gradually disappearing, reducing the region’s scale and biodiversity.But this felling also has an impact on the planet as a whole because the forest also plays a critical role in cleaning the air we breathe.
It does this by sucking up the global emissions of carbon dioxide from things like cars, planes and power stations to name just a few.
Without this “carbon sink” the world’s ability to lock up carbon will be reduced, compounding the effects of global warming.