Thanksgiving is Unfortunately, to me, Thanksgiving just signals the start of the endless list of Things To Do over the holiday season – shop for gifts, attend holiday parties, decorate the house, eat, drink, travel, repeat. Thanksgiving is simply a springboard for all of this hustle and bustle. But it doesn’t have to be. I originally came up with a great list of a large number of things you can do to celebrate a green Thanksgiving. Volunteer, eat local, eat organic., etc. (If you’re looking for that sort of list see what I’ve compiled below). But it occurred to me that this would be just another list of Things To Do (or not do) list. Even the most eco-conscious of people don’t want to spend their Thanksgiving holiday stressing out about how to have the greenest of all green Thanksgivings. And then it occurred to me, all of these things really boil one down to just one overarching way to be green on Thanksgiving:
Green Thanksgiving Tips – Give Thanks.
That’s right – be truly thankful for all that you have on Thanksgiving and you will be celebrating a green Thanksgiving. Why? Because I believe that if you are truly conscious of your surroundings and thankful for all that you have you will more likely to take it slow, eat healthier and less, and not leave anything to waste. You’ll be more likely to help others in need and not take what you have for granted. And that’s what being “green” is all about.
(Yet, being truly thankful is not always easy. It requires stopping, taking a breath, and considering all of your blessings. And sometimes, it’s easier to just follow a list. If a list is what you’re looking for check out these articles from: Treehugger, EarthFirst, and Earth911.)
Green Thanksgiving Tips: How to Lessen Your Turkey Day Waste
Families across the US will come together to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a time of community and warmth — and it shouldn’t be a time of waste. Learn everything from what food to buy to what to do with leftovers with our top 10 green Thanksgiving tips.
1. Buy a Hormone-Free, Free-Range Turkey
If you’re eating a turkey, make sure it was humanely and sustainably raised. Check out these turkey-finding tips from Wellness Mama.
2. Go Organic
Opt for organic produce, dairy, and meat over conventional. Sure, it’s more expensive, but it’s worth it. When you go organic, you avoid synthetic chemicals and hormones. Plus, the animals you’re eating are generally treated better so you can feel good about your choices.
3. Stock Up on Local Ingredients
Buy local ingredients for Turkey Day. If you’re traveling during Thanksgiving, make a unique Thanksgiving meal using local ingredients. (Check out our Thanksgiving in Argentina post for inspiration.)Green Thanksgiving Tips
4. Pick Seasonal Produce
Most traditional Thanksgiving dishes are made with fall produce, so finding seasonal produce to use won’t be very difficult. The closer your produce is grown, the smaller its environmental impact. Our Sustainable Dining Guide has more great ideas on greening your Thanksgiving meal, or any meal.
5. Gather Locally
Rather than traveling across the country, consider getting together with family and friends who live in your area. Not only will you avoid the hassle of holiday travel, you’ll decrease your environmental impact by staying close to home.
6. Use Cloth Napkins
7. Compost Waste
Toss any Turkey Day scraps in the compost bin instead of the trash. You can pick up a kitchen composter for under $20.
When we lived in DC, Elizabeth and I volunteered with a local nonprofit on Thanksgiving. We delivered meals to people who were home-bound or couldn’t afford to buy Thanksgiving dinner. It was an incredibly fulfilling way to spend the day.
9. Save Your Leftovers
If you can’t stomach the idea of eating more turkey, toss your leftovers in the freezer. Thanksgiving leftovers freeze really well and you might just enjoy them more later.
10. Be Thankful
Slow down and take the time to be thankful on Thanksgiving. Being grateful for — and aware of — what you have means you’ll consume less and leave less waste. Plus, you’ll probably enjoy Thanksgiving more.
What are your green Thanksgiving tips?
photo credit: antonellomusina
photo credit: Editor B