Food for Thought: How to Ensure a Sustainable Holiday Season
By admin November 23, 2016


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, this is typically a time where businesses are busy finishing year-end projects and securing new deals for the upcoming year. Families are busy with holiday plans filled with food and gifts. Air travel is at a peak as holiday breaks are long and people tend to migrate toward family for the major holidays. While all of this sounds normal and part of an annual routine, the bulk of it all reads consumption. The joy and cheer we all hope to experience especially around this time of year come at a price and that cost increases with time.

Thursday will be Thanksgiving for millions of Americans, at home and abroad, who celebrate the day with copious amounts of food. Awareness surrounding the cost of agriculture and factoring farming is increasing; making this holiday a good time to consider the products a host may be offering their guests. While it may be blasphemous to consider a Thanksgiving that does not include meat, consider that factory farms, the one where your turkey and holiday ham is raised, contributes to one fifth of global warming. The amount of water that goes into raising a few pounds of livestock amounts in the millions of gallons as water is used for everything from feed for the animals to the land they inhabit. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have options in terms of where we shop, what we buy and therefore what we eat, consider the plethora of options before you that may not include an animal as it is increasingly unsustainable to continue to consume them.

Following the Thanksgiving feast, millions gear up for what is the busiest time of the year for retailers. Spending done during the holiday period, or the fourth quarter for business forecasts, typically accounts for more than the previous three-quarters combined. Black Friday is not just a day for massive sales, but also rather a day in which over half of shoppers are actually taking on debt to make those purchases. While one may need a new blender or computer, consider how much of your shopping done during this period is for unnecessary consumption simply because something is cheap.

When a garment is priced in a way that it seems almost a sin not to add it to your wardrobe, consider that what comes cheap to you is at a high cost to the people who’s hands produced that item. Realistically speaking, when you purchase a shirt for $5.99 at H&M or a pair of pants for $14.99 from Zara, how much money is there to compensate the brand, the workers working for that brand, the transportation cost to put the items in the stores, and then of course the material for the product, the workers who produce the materials, the workers who sewed the item, and then everyone in between who connects the brand to the supplier to the producer? That doesn’t seem like very much money to fairly compensate all parties. Stop and think, really think about what logic exists behind going out at 11pm, risking a human stampede and waiting hours to purchase items that few of us really need.

As we consume food and presents let us also think about how that consumption leads to the consumption of resources, those becoming scarcer each day. When we eat a turkey sandwich or buy clothing made in Southeast Asia we are in fact contributing to all the ills many of us are working to alleviate.

For more information:

10 Tips for a Sustainable Thanksgiving

Sustainable Fashion for Black Friday

Black Friday–Is it Sustainable?

Climate change does not have to mean you stop shopping

9 harsh facts about factory farming

Thanks for sharing !

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