Thanksgiving is this Thursday and that means turkey, pie, watching football, and spending time with your family and friends. Unfortunately, the holiday season also means a lot more household waste. According to RecycleWorks, a household’s waste increases by more than 25 percent between Thanksgiving to New Years.
Start off your holiday season the green way by reducing your carbon footprint and making eco-friendly changes that even your friends and family can get involved with.
Below are a few easy tips to enjoy a green Thanksgiving:
1. Shop local and organically
Turkeys are often given hormones to speed up their growth and most of the produce on your Thanksgiving plate is grown with pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Try buying organic and locally this year for a safer, fresher, and more nutritious dinner.
2. Traveling tips
Thanksgiving weekend is one of the heaviest for travel in the United States, creating a massive amount of air pollution. Reduce your carbon footprint and choose a central location for your family get together that’s close to everyone.
3. Ban paper and plastic
Paper plates and napkins sound like a good thing when you’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day — but buying one less package of paper plates per year saves almost half a million trees. Help the environment by using reusable plates, utensils, and cups. Don’t forget to stock up on reusable containers for the leftovers!
4. Decorate with nature
Create a beautiful centerpiece with items from your own backyard or around your neighborhood. Try decorating with pinecones, acorns, evergreen branches, and gourds!
5. Compost the scraps
There will certainly be leftovers that will outlast your hankering for another Thanksgiving meal with all the sides — and don’t forget those potato peels. Think twice about tossing the scraps and compost instead!
6. Collect for others
There are always tons of organized food drives around Thanksgiving. Keep the cans of green beans and corn that you don’t use and donate them to those in need!