How to have a sustainable Thanksgiving meal

U.S. & World

(CNN) – What will you be thankful for at the Thanksgiving dinner table this year? If the environment and the planet are on your list, then how about showing your gratitude by eating in a way that limits any harm to the earth? Here are some tips for a sustainable Thanksgiving dinner.

This Thanksgiving, small changes on your plate have a big environmental impact on our planet.

“If you look at your plate this Thanksgiving day and go, ‘Ok where is all of this from?’ Odds are you might not be able to say where any of it came from. Let alone how it was grown, how it was processed, how was it packaged how was it shipped,” said David Melton of Fresh Harvest.

One expert shares three things you can do to have a more sustainable meal.

Number One: Buy locally-grown and seasonal foods.

It may cost a bit more and require more meal-planning, but experts say it’s worth it.

“It just tastes better. It’s more fresh. It makes sense. It’s been stored in the ground rather than on a truck for two or three weeks. It’s harvested at peak freshness in season,” Melton said. 

Also, experts say most local farmers use sustainable growing practices that are good for the Earth.

“They’re rotating those crops and they’re even resting the land on certain seasons,” said Melton.

Number Two: Use less plastic at the dinner table.

Instead, use reusable dinnerware, glasses and napkins.

Number Three: Eat less meat.

The meat industry is one of the biggest sources of methane gas emissions, which is a major contributor to climate change.

If you can’t save the turkey, experts say opt for free range and naturally fed animals.

“Let’s not think about meat as the centerpiece. Let’s shift that a little and give more of the limelight to the fruits and vegetables,” Melton said.

Another tip, freeze your left overs or compost the food you can’t reuse to keep it from ending up in landfills.

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