Conserving water is hardly top of mind when you’re celebrating Thanksgiving. Gobbling as much stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie as you can before napping on the couch before repeating the process later seems to be the nom... er... norm.
Before you dig in and enjoy your feast, consider these tips courtesy of the City of Greeley to conserve water. Because an average Thanksgiving meal for four people requires 40,000 gallons of water!
- Rather than thawing under running water please allow 24 hours per 5 pounds to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator.
- Your kitchen faucet likely dispenses four gallons of water per minute, so rinse vegetables in a basin rather than running water.
- Similarly, soak/rinse utensils and dishes in a basin rather than under running water.
- Only run the dishwasher when it is full. Ideally, you’ll run a water-efficient dishwasher.
- Do not dispose of any fats, oils or grease in your kitchen sink. These can clog your drain.
When calculating the water impact of your festive meal, it’s important to know that fruits and vegetables tend to have a smaller water footprint than meat because the amount of water used for their growth is measured. And meat’s water footprint includes consumption as well as housing the animals.
The traditional centerpiece of a Thanksgiving meal is a turkey. Generally, a turkey uses 468 gallons of water per pound according to My Plumber CA. If your family prefers ham, those use about 576 gallons per pound.
What’s a Thanksgiving meal without side dishes? Well, these water footprint numbers may have you thinking twice:
- Gravy – 50 gallons per jar or can of gravy
- Cranberry sauce – 1559 gallons
- Mashed potatoes – 2528 gallons (the size of an average swimming pool)
- 683 gallons of water goes into one gallon of milk
- One almond – 1.1 gallons of water
There are ways you can be a responsible water consumer AND enjoy your festive meal. Instead of almond appetizers, how about apple slices? Those only use 10 gallons of water per serving. Broccoli (11 gallons/serving), carrots (6 gallons/serving) and baked potatoes (6 gallons/serving). We know salad is hardly the symbol of Thanksgiving, but would you eat it if you knew you were saving the planet? Tomatoes use 8 gallons per serving while lettuce uses only 5.6 gallons per serving.
Now wait until we tell you how much water Santa drinks!
Photo credit: Bochkarev Photography/Shutterstock