I have decided to share a few green Thanksgiving tips with my readers. WHY? Because how many people have ever stopped to think about the carbon footprint of their Thanksgiving celebration? Where did that turkey come from? How much trash did you create? Where the heck did those green beans come from when there is snow on the ground already? If you are hoping for a green holiday season, you need to rethink your Thanksgiving plans!
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5 Green Thanksgiving Tips Everyone Should Consider
Very few people set out to have a sustainable Thanksgiving and I think that is a bit sad. One of the things I am most thankful for is the planet on which we live. That might sound a bit cheesy but honestly, without a healthy planet, we wouldn’t have much else to be thankful for. If you have ever considered trying to create an eco friendly Thanksgiving for your family, here are a few tips that might help.
Choose a better turkey:
The turkey most of us consume nowadays does not resemble its’ ancestors at ALL. Check out my post about The Sexually Frustrated Turkey and find out how badly humans have screwed up this poor bird! Instead of the mass produced, factory farmed turkey, choose a sustainably raised turkey from a local farmer or from a store like Whole Foods Market. Check out Local Harvest for sources near you.
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Rethink your menu:
There are a lot of traditional recipes I am not willing to give up, even for a green Thanksgiving. However, some areas I am totally flexible about. Rethink your menu plan this year. Throw in a vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe or two. Buy organic potatoes. Skip the out of season green beans and make butternut squash instead. Make your rolls from scratch instead of buying them premade. There are a lot of little things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint when you cook. Consider the carbon footprint of wine before you choose your favorite vintage.
Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes to Try
- Golden Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Fresh Cranberry Butter Recipe with Orange and Vanilla
- Cranberry Blue Cheese Spread and Festive Appetizer Roundup
- Oven Roasted Maple Glazed Carrots Recipe with Fresh Thyme
Skip the disposables:
One of the easiest green Thanksgiving tips I can provide is to invest in non-disposable kitchen items. A real tablecloth and cloth napkins will be able to be reused over and over again throughout the year. Serve your food on real plates, or if you are serving a crowd, invest in Earth’s Natural disposable plates. You can get them for about $10 for a package of 50 and they are made from wheat fiber and sugarcane instead of trees.
Choose Decor Carefully:
Some green Thanksgiving tips are more obvious than others. Did you ever stop to think about your Thanksgiving decor? What type of candles are you using? How about that plastic pumpkin or wreath on your front door? Choose natural items whenever possible. Gather pine cones and place them in a basket. Check out my post on what to do with pine cones for more inspiration. Simmer a pan of orange slices and cloves on the stove to scent the air. Things from nature are typically more sustainable than those made by man.
Sustainable Decor Ideas
- All Natural Crock Pot Air Freshener Recipe
- Make DIY Decorative Candle Holders from Old Coffee Mugs
- Need Dinner Place Setting Ideas? Make Cranberry Wreath DIY Place Cards!
Recycle everything you possibly can. Compost your kitchen scraps (egg shells, carrot tops, etc…no meat or dairy!). Turn your turkey carcass into a batch of homemade turkey stock before you toss the bones. Store your leftovers in reusable containers rather than using plastic wrap. And don’t throw away Thanksgiving leftovers! Food waste a is a big problem. Need inspiration? Make my homemade leftover turkey enchiladas! Everything you can do to limit your waste output will help you create a green Thanksgiving this year.
I hope these green Thanksgiving tips come in handy in your own home this year. Remember, sometimes green living requires a bit of an investment of both time and money. But reducing our impact on the world around is important if we want our own children to grow up to be thankful of the world that they live in. If you want more easy green Thanksgiving Tips, check out Earth 911.
Do you have any green Thanksgiving tips to share?
(NOTE: post updated and content added since previous publish date)
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.