Tom Ross: It’s all about the gravy |

Tom Ross: It’s all about the gravy

Make your turkey green this Thanksgiving

Tom Ross

— I'm all about celebrating Thanksgiving in a sustainable way, but there is one thing I will never do to save the planet. I will not give up my electric carving knife.

You'll have to pry my Black & Decker Slice Right EK300 out of my cold, dead, gravy-stained fingers.

Getting together for Thanksgiving was simple in 1844, when Lydia Maria Child wrote:

Over the river and through the wood

Trot fast my dapple-gray

Spring over the ground like a hunting hound

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For this is Thanksgiving

Day …

Folks hitched a horse to the buggy and set off for Grandma's house. Now we trek into half a dozen airports and pray a blizzard won't strand us in O'Hare.

Sarah Jones, of the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, and her family have devised a way to reduce the carbon footprint they create by flying to a gathering in Pennsylvania.

"My whole family is on the East Coast, from Maine to South Carolina," she said. "We get together at my sister's house in Pennsylvania. But everyone flies into Washington, D.C., and we rent a 15-passenger van and drive up together. We reduce the number of cars from four to one with only a little bit of coordination, and we have lots of time to catch up during the four-hour car ride."

If your holiday gathering involves more responsible adults than messy children, you can enjoy a more sustainable meal by using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins, Jones said.

Really? Putting napkins through the washing machine is more sustainable than tossing out a flimsy paper napkin? Yes, but only if you use the napkin for several meals. To facilitate that, her family stuffs lightly used cloth napkins into metal cookie cutters after a meal. As long as they can remember whether they are Mrs. Claus or the Gingerbread Man, they're good to go.

Jones suggests you can save electricity by heading outdoors to play touch football after dinner instead of watching football on TV. Or, if your family has the good sense to gather in Steamboat this holiday, you can ski off the calories from that organic mincemeat pie.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

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