You don't have to sacrifice your eco-friendly lifestyle this Thanksgiving!
In fact, Thanksgiving presents great opportunities for environmentally friendly practices and of course, eco-friendly food.
Even your home decorations can go green.
Here are some of my favorite ways to be eco-friendly this Thanksgiving!
1. Keep it local.
Since Thanksgiving is all about food, this is a great opportunity to get to know your local farmers market and showcase the best your community has to offer! Eating local is an easy way to reduce your carbon foot print and support your local businesses. Most brand name food comes from miles away, is packaged in tons of materials, and is full of preservatives. Therefore, eating local reduces carbon emissions and petroleum use that would have been involved in buying food from miles and miles away. Plus, as I am sure all my eco-friendly readers know, local food simply tastes better!
Because local food is completely fresh, all natural flavors and nutrients are completely unaltered and the result is amazing tasting food!
Kale has been a huge staple at my farmer's market lately and I wanted to know how I could incorporate this leafy green into my Thanksgiving.
I fell in love with a kale crisps recipe I found on Martha Stewart Recipes-- it's so easy to make! You simply toss the kale in olive oil (I like to add a little lemon juice) and spread them out on a pan to be baked in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. After sprinkling some lemon zest, salt, or your other favorite spices, you have a delicious appetizer perfect for snaking on while watching some football!
2. Buy a Heritage Turkey
We all know you can't buy a turkey at a farmers market and if you're living on the seaside it's safe to say you don't have "local" turkeys running wild. If you're in this predicament, try opting for a Heritage breed turkey. In order for a turkey to earn its "Heritage" status they must be raised sustainably on pastures where they can forage and carry out their natural behaviors. They are also raised humanely, not given antibiotics, and are fed a certified organic diet. As an added bonus, apparently Heritage turkeys are heartier and more tasty!
3. Save some H20 with Aluminum
Thanksgiving is a secret water fiend! While everyone focuses on the meal itself, its the aftermath that usually takes the biggest toll on the environment. Loads of dishes and hours of pre-rinsing results in a huge use of water. In order to counteract this, and make the clean up so much easier, try lining your dishes with aluminum foil. Cleaning dishes has never been easier when using aluminum and you can recycle the foil one you are done. Try buying the foil that is made from 100% recycled aluminum.
4. Use reusable containers for leftovers
Instead of going out and buying extra plastic tupperware to store the leftovers, try packaging your leftover goodies in ceramic dishes or jars you already have in your kitchen. These will not be thrown away after the last scrap of turkey is gone and trust me, our landfills will thank you! Mass amounts of tupperware are bought, then tossed after Thanksgiving but we don't have to contribute to this. Plus, we'll end up saving some cash along the way!
5. Go vegetarian!
One thing the earth is certainly thankful for is vegetarians! This Thanksgiving, why not switch it up and try out a vegetarian meal? If your thinking this meal would end up looking like a bunch of steamed veggies and some bread rolls, think again!
There are so many vegetarian food options and recipes... this Thanksgiving meal might even be delicious enough to change your carnivorous ways!
When preparing your Thanksgiving feast, remember to compost the scraps. Have a compost pile ready so you can return some nutrients to the earth. Items you can compost are egg shells, fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices, and even breads or flour products. A helpful tip when composting is to "think like a vegetarian". Basically, anything that derives from animals cannot go in the compost (with the exception of egg shells). Leave the turkey and dairy products out of the compost and you're sure to have success.
7. Decorate with a Green Thumb
I've never been a huge fan of elaborate centerpieces, especially at intimate gatherings like Thanksgiving. This is mainly because they always seem to block conversation, take up too much table space, and eventually get moved to some forsaken coffee table. However, this ecofriendly and rustic table decor is not too much and just enough. You can create this look by gathering branches from your yard and arranging them in a vase you have around the house. Voilà!
It's easy to go green this Thanksgiving!
How are you staying eco-friendly this Thanksgiving?