Feeling like a turkey


Off we go for Thanksgiving…to Florida! Yep, we’re doing a 15-hour drive with a not-quite-four-month-old. If I didn’t already know we’re crazy, I’d say “We must be crazy.”

Covering much of the Eastern seaboard in a car could never be said to be green, but we’ll undertake our usual strategies to minimize the impact. First of all, we’ll bring lots of food with us. This means we’ll need to buy fewer bags of chips, fewer bottles of water, fewer fast-food sandwiches wrapped in too much packaging. (Our road food of choice: trail mix, sliced carrots, and a not-especially-healthy sandwich, a favorite in my husband’s family, called “peppers and eggs.” They’re made using the whitest, spongiest hamburger buns you can buy. And our own eggs, natch.)

Second of all, I can practically guarantee that we’ll back off on our hotel room’s A/C or heat–whichever one is being blasted like mad on that particular da–thus saving a tiny little bit of energy. Maybe we’ll save one lump of coal, somewhere in a southern power plant, from being burned. And I won’t use those plastic-wrapped plastic cups in the room, either.

Who am I kidding? The bottom line is, we (along with half of everyone else in this country) will be burning lots of fossil fuels so we can be with family on the holiday. It’s an unsustainable act in a world that hasn’t yet figured out how to move people around sustainably. Our little acts of contrition, involving miniscule pieces of plastic and paper, really can’t offset this action. We could stay home and be alone, or we can try to convince everyone else to move up here, so that Thanksgiving can be celebrated with a minimum of travel and a maximum of Polyface turkeys.

Either way, we can try to express our thanks by being sensible and frugal, even if it’s in the tiniest of ways.