The holidays—Thanksgiving included—can be hectic. In the rush of family, friends and preparation, it can become easy to forget the need to make conscious choices that benefit the environment. Slowing down a bit can do more than increase our enjoyment of the season, it can help us produce a ‘green’ Thanksgiving that says we truly give thanks for the natural world that surrounds us.
Here are a few tips for greening your Thanksgiving:
- Try to locate an organically grown, free-range turkey. Check the local natural foods market or the organic section of your grocery store. For those willing to give thanks by forgoing meat at holiday dinners, healthy, good-for-the-environment recipes can be found online at a variety of sites.
- Though most farmers’ markets are closed for the season, local natural foods stores, co-ops and grocery stores carry a variety of organic and local fruits and vegetables. Buying locally produced foods eliminates the cost and emissions of transporting foods, while boosting the local economy.
- When shopping, choose to support products that are packaged in a non-wasteful, environmentally friendly manner, and take them home in a reusable canvas tote.
- When planning your Thanksgiving decor, find ways to re-use old decorations or let the kids help out by gathering materials found in your yard (adult supervision may be required) to create a natural centerpiece for your holiday table. If you can’t resist having something new, choose a bouquet of locally grown
flowers or a living plant that can be enjoyed year-round.
- Using paper plates and plastic utensils is tempting, especially when you know you will be tired from a day of cooking. Before you give in, think of the waste and unnecessary cost to the environment and your pocketbook. Make it clear to those not participating in the cooking that they will be helping the environment by remaining awake long enough to clean up!