Giving Thanks Sustainably

Thanksgiving is a perfect time to remind ourselves to be thankful for all that the Earth has given us while we enjoy our time with friends and family. With that in mind, as you prepare for Thanksgiving with your loved ones, keep these sustainability tips in mind:

  • Travel: The day before Thanksgiving is one of the most-traveled days in America, so chances are you’re celebrating “turkey day” somewhere special this year. View these tips on how to travel to your Thanksgiving celebration sustainably.
  • Decorations: It pains me to spend money on overpriced floral arrangements and Thanksgiving-themed centerpieces. Why not bring nature indoors this year and create something that can be repurposed?  Avoid store-bought decorations and use edible items like pumpkins and squash along with seasonal foliage to create a sustainable table scape that not only looks good, but costs pennies on the dollar.
  • Meal: Go local! Consider buying a turkey from a local farmer’s market. It’s guaranteed to have a lower carbon footprint, and likely was raised and harvested more sustainably than frozen alternatives at the grocery store. Source ingredients from your own backyard if you have a garden! Organic veggies often taste better, and many times are more cost-effective. If the spirits will be flowing, consider supporting craft breweries or in-state wineries.
  • Leftovers: Send your guests home with seconds, but don’t use Styrofoam plates and plastic wrap. This year, encourage your guests to BYOC (bring your own container) so they can enjoy the meal all over again. While you’re at it, skip on the paper and plastic all together. Using glass or china plates and regular silverware is much better for the environment and doesn’t take that long to clean if everyone pitches in. Another idea is to bring a BioBag in your back-pocket. What you can’t save in leftovers, you can compost at home!
  • Compost: Speaking of composting…this is a great idea for repurposing the food scraps like potato peels and celery tops. First, designate something as a compost bin. You don’t need to spend $200 on a fancy piece of plastic. A regular little garbage can works fine, as does any container from the dollar store or even a thick cardboard box. Make some holes in the side and dump your gross scraps inside. Eventually, you’ll end up with some organic fertilizer for your lawn. Learn more about composting.

Thanks for doing your part. Have a safe, happy and sustainable holiday!