15 Simple Ways to Have A Green Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is one holiday that is centered around food, pies, beverages and holiday decorations, and unfortunately all this comes with a ton of leftover garbage. Bags and bags of garbage that will be taken to our overflowing landfills or dumped in our beautiful ocean.
This year challenge yourself to a greener Thanksgiving by following all or some of the tips below. Let us know how you did and how much you were able to reduce your garbage load this year!
Why A Green Thanksgiving? At some point in time, someone convinced us that using “plastic everything” was easier and less stressful because it had less clean up time. Cleanup was a breeze with disposable wipes and paper towels. Just toss everything in a garbage bag after Thanksgiving dinner and you will enjoy your holiday so much more. This thinking has had a serious impact on our planet and even our health. Now is the time to make a change and a difference in the way we do our holidays!
This year take the Green Thanksgiving Challenge! See who can have the smallest bag of trash at the end of the evening. #GreenThanksgiving
Tips for a Greener Thanksgiving –
- Pull out Grandma’s Good China Dishes. – This year use your best china instead of paper plates. So many people have good china tucked away that seldom gets used. Isn’t it just easier to buy fancy paper plates for the holidays? Well, not this year! This year pull out that china or your best dishes and use those instead. Plates, salad bowls, bread plates – if you have it, use it all. Don’t forget the serving bowl, gravy bowl and butter dish.
- Buy Cotton Table Cloths instead of Plastic – Cotton tablecloths can be used year after year with little wear since they are only used a few times. Cotton is a great choice because it’s better for the environment when it eventually does end up in a landfill.
- Buy a Set of White Cloth Napkins – White cloth napkins make a great choice because they can be used for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. If everyone used cloth napkins at Thanksgiving dinner, image how much paper would be saved!
- Don’t use any Plastic Forks, Knives or Spoons – Again ,dig out the good stuff if you have it. If not, use your best silverware for everything including dessert. If you don’t have enough forks for dessert, wash the ones that you used for dinner!
- Create Name Cards on Paper Bags or Old Greeting Cards – if you use name cards for seating at your dinner, create beautiful looking cards using paper bags or old greeting cards that have been collecting dust for years.
- Purchase a Roasting Pan for that Bird or Ham – Forget the wimpy foil roasting pan that millions of them end up in the land fill each year. Instead buy a simple roasting pan that will last years and years. Aldi’s is known to have pretty nice deals on roasting pans each year starting in the beginning of November.
- Forgo the Fresh Flowers – Most fresh flowers are not eco friendly when you add up the time they take to travel to your local store and all the pesticides that are used to grow them. Visit your local greenhouse to see what they have available as far as fresh flowers or plants. It always pays to buy local and buy fresh.
- Use the Right Candles – Choose all natural, slow burning, beeswax candles for the table that do not contain any petroleum.
- 0 Tolerance for Plastic Bottles – Serve water and drinks in trendy class bottles or large pitchers. Purchase a big glass carafe with lid and use it year round to keep water cold in your refrigerator. Glass water carafes will make a pretty presentation on your holiday table.
- No Paper Towels – GASP, can you live a day without a paper towel? This Thanksgiving, make a commitment to use 0 paper towels and use the old fashioned “tea” towels or kitchen towels instead. Choose cotton that is safer for the landfills, but don’t toss them until they have been well used. Our pick for kitchen towels.
- Use a Safe Natural Dish Washing Liquid – If you haven’t yet, make the switch to a natural dish soap. We use the brand Seventh Generation that has no fragrances, dyes or triclosan.
- Don’t Wrap Gifts – This is a tough one for many people, but wrapping gifts is a huge waste of paper and a strain on the environment. If you take a gift to Thanksgiving dinner – don’t wrap it. Any gifts for the Christmas holiday that you can get away with not wrapping, do it.
- Cut back on Convenience Foods – It’s tempting to buy prepackaged convenience foods, but for this huge food holiday, concentrate on making all of your own dishes. Make your own mashed potatoes, pies, cookies and side dishes. You will be amazed at how much less packaging material you won’t have to toss out at the end of the evening.
- Cut back on Meat Dishes – Eating less meat has been proven to be much easier on the planet and our environment. Serve more vegetable, potato and fruit dishes in lieu of meat dishes.
- Eat Your Leftovers – nothing says waste of energy and resources like throwing out good food. Find recipes that your family will love using Thanksgiving leftovers. Make a big batch of turkey noodle soup and freeze it for later in the month.
And don’t forget to be thankful. This holiday season, don’t forget to go around the table and have each person say what they are thankful for. Being thankful uses no resources, is good for the environment, and is always good for the heart.