Curated for you by the Sustainable Dartmouth Interns Wednesday, November 25th, 2020
The Holiday Season is Here
The annual tree lighting on the Dartmouth Green. Source: Dartmouth News.
As the holiday season rolls in, many things will undoubtedly look different this year than ever before. We recently surpassed the one year mark since COVID-19 first made its mark on the world, and it looks like it will be a while longer before we’re able to gather and mingle in the ways we typically would for the holidays. Although our holiday celebrations will look much different this year, the third and final BGG of 2020 focuses on how to still honor our personal sustainability goals even during the holidays. Keep reading for tips on giving and gifting sustainably, avoiding holiday food waste, understanding the settler-colonial history of Thanksgiving, how we can honor Indigenous folks on this “holiday,” and more.
Ways to Give
‘Tis the season of giving! A few ideas if you’re planning on spreading the love this holiday season:
In Manchester, NH on November 20th, N.H. State Troopers began to evict a homeless encampment that resides on public property. The camp had been growing throughout the summer, with more than 40 tents and at least twice the people. The city has been criticized for not having a thorough plan for providing shelter to those being evacuated. The New Hampshire Mutual Aid Relief Fund provides supplies directly to those in need. Learn more here.
The Dartmouth Student Union’s Mutual Aid Fund. Consider supporting our fellow first-gen, low income, international, and disabled Dartmouth students during the COVID-19 pandemic. All money is disbursed in small stipends as needed for healthcare, housing, food and other essentials.
Speaking of mutual aid – what is it? In essence, mutual aid is a solidarity-based pooling of community resources to be redistributed to meet the survival needs of community members. Mutual aid funds have become especially prominent during the pandemic, particularly to fill in the gaps where the government has failed to provide basic social services. Mutual aid differs from charity in that it a) recognizes that the system engendering inequity is ultimately what must change and b) is based on collective relationships of trust and struggle instead of the imbalanced, one-way street approach of charity. We recommend researching mutual aid funds active in your home area to learn how to get involved. Read this article for more on mutual aid.
Tips for Giving Sustainably
Get thrifty! Thrift stores are full of hidden treasures that often just need a little creativity and craftiness to spruce up!
Give something that is useful-- joke items are fun, but often end up being thrown away. Try to think of something that will last!
Reuse gift wrap, or use material that is already “waste,” like newspapers!
Wrap your gift in something reusable like a jar, a shoebox, or fabric!
Gift treats! Baked goods are a wonderful and welcome gift that can be safely delivered to your loved one’s doorstep.
Other resources to check out:
The Truth About the Holidays
The First Thanksgiving: Separating Myth From Fact: Ruth Hopkins, a Dakota/Lakota Sioux writer, biologist, attorney, and former tribal judge, breaks down the myths and facts about Thanksgiving and early encounters between Pilgrims and the Wampanoag.
Wondering about your potential environmental impact on Black Friday? Watch this video on Black Friday and Climate Change, read National Geographic’s article Black Friday Shopping Hurts the Planet–But Here’s How You Can Help, or peruse this quick Instagram infographic to learn more. (Hint: that deal that sounds pretty sweet for you may not be so great for the environment–or the waged workers whose labor will get your new product from the factory to your doorstep.)
Holiday Food: Recipes, Waste Reduction, etc.
For a lot of us, eating turkey and ham is a tradition near and dear to our hearts. It’s estimated that Americans eat 45 million turkeys each year on Thanksgiving, 22 million on Christmas, and about 318 million pounds of ham during the holidays. This year, consider trying to source your turkey and ham from a local farm that raises animals ethically, safely, and sustainably. Learn more about the benefits of reintegrating livestock and crop farming here.
Kernels of Truth About Corn: North Carolina chef Hadassah Patterson takes a close look at the origins and resilience of “Indian corn.” She also includes some savory food memories and an original recipe for hot water cornbread with smoked chiles and roasted corn.
How to Do Thanksgiving With Less Waste: Dartmouth ‘13 Priya Krishna talks to environmental advocates about food waste, the violent origins of the holiday, and how to reintroduce your own cultural foods to the menu rather than the same mass-produced thanksgiving staples.
Tips to Reduce Food Waste at Thanksgiving: The USDA provides some helpful tips on dealing with all the extra food that gets made for holiday dinners.
Southern Sustenance Comfort food and reckoning with unrestful times: Scalawag Magazine offers “Southern family recipes and stories of Indigenous love and resistance.”
Recipes for a Small Thanksgiving by the New York Times.
Gather, “an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide.” It has been selected as a New York Times critic’s pick! Watch the trailer here.
32 Best Christmas Movies of All Time: Great Holiday Classics - The term is over, and you deserve to binge all the holiday movies to your heart’s desire. Stay connected with your friends over winterim with a Netflix party!
Thankstaking Talking Circle: The International Indigenous Youth Council is hosting a Zoon discussion on Thursday from 12-3PM to “hold space to communally process, listen and learn the truth about Thankstaking, examine the evolution of colonialism, and acknowledge the continual genocide and erasure of Indigenous people. All are welcome to attend.” We encourage you to remember your positionality if you attend this event. bit.ly/Thankstaking20
18th Annual All-Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair - register today for a virtual career fair on February 5th to meet recruiters and learn more about careers in environmentalism and sustainability.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond. This year, due to the pandemic and high rates of unemployment, tens of millions of people in the U.S. faced the threat of eviction. Evicted follows eight families struggling to pay rent during the last economic crisis in 2008. This Pulitzer Prize winner and NYT bestseller “transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America’s most devastating problems.”
Eating Matters Episode 168: 4 Years of Trump: Host Jenna Liut chats with journalist Lisa Held about food and agriculture policy changes under the Trump administration and their long term effects.
Nourishing Corn: hear from Eric Bae ‘24, Jack Walker ‘22, and Art Hanchett on the significance of corn, including scientific, agricultural, and indigenous perspectives.
Be well & take care,
Jess Chen, Jasmine Butler, and Rachel Kent
Sustainable Dartmouth Interns
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