Holidays can mean a lot of waste, and tend not to be particularly eco-friendly. When it comes to Thanksgiving, there is a lot of food and entertaining, and there are plenty of ideas for how to make your holiday a little greener.
Have a plan for leftovers
It is typical that you will have a lot of leftovers from your Thanksgiving feast. Plan ahead and be strategic about saving leftovers so to best utilize them. Prioritize your leftovers so that perishables that cannot be frozen (like salads) are eaten first, and others can be frozen. There are lots of creative recipes that are great ways to use up turkey. Cooking in large batches is actually efficient, so make sure you plan accordingly so leftovers don’t go to waste.
Don’t use disposable tableware
While disposables can make life easy, avoid them whenever possible. This goes for paper napkins as well. You can also consider alternatives to disposables, like plates constructed from palm leaves, which can be composted. This is a great time to get out the dishes that were handed down to you that you don’t use! If not, maybe now is the time to think about donating or selling dishes that aren’t getting used.
Create eco-friendly centerpieces & decorations
Reuse decorations or or come up with eco-friendly ideas, such as gourds. Some examples include using mini gourds, dried flowers, pomander balls, fruit, mason jars, etc.
Choose food items carefully
It is a good idea to support fair trade, organic, eco-friendly, sustainable companies, as well as local companies when you can. There are lots of great ways to choose treats that are better for the earth. Holiday foods can also mean a lot of packaging, so keep this in mind. For example, buy treats that come in a jar, versus individually wrapped candies. Buying in bulk is also a good strategy.
Use reusable shopping bags and other reusable items
When you head to the store, don’t forget your reusable bags. Chances are, you are buying a large quantity of foods for the holidays, and it is good to have your shopping bags with you. Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, consider other reusable items as much as possible, such as glass storage containers and beeswax wrap (as opposed to plastic bags or other disposables), cloth tablecloth and napkins, and so on.
Shop locally & sustainably
When you are buying Thanksgiving supplies, shop local and support your local businesses. You can find just about anything from a turkey to wine. Check out your local farmer’s market for things like squash, pumpkins, etc.
Great tips for being more eco-friendly, it is lovely to see how everyone is trying to do this and are more aware of this,
Great tips for being more eco-friendly, it is lovely to see how everyone is trying to do this and are more aware of this, which will just be a natural thing for the next generations
There are always leftovers and I know so much can end up being wasted. It is a great idea to reuse the left overs from the main meal throughout the next few days.
You have some great ideas here. I’ll have to keep them in mind on Thanksgiving.
These are all good ideas. I tend to use our normal crockery and cutlery. I’m trying to reduce environmental waste so we don’t buy disposable products anymore.
My favorite part is making our Thanksgiving table look beautiful. I have been using dried flowers and fruit in my centerpiece. The dried flowers I reuse and the fruit we eat after!
I really enjoyed reading this post, these are all really great ideas.
My mom grew up during the depression, so she taught us not to be wasteful. So we grew up in an eco-friendly home. Cloth napkins are my favorite, and we use them daily. Now that my kids are adults, it is reassuring to see them also being environmentally friendly.
These are some really great ideas you have here! I’m surely gonna keep this in mind. I enjoy reading your post.
We do use plastic ware but it something we wash and use again. I really like the tips for the other ideas.
These are all such great tips. I’ve always loved using leftovers for other meals. You can certainly do that with the turkey. There are so many recipes you can use the leftover turkey with.
These are super useful tips that I also use for Christmas around planning food to reduce waste and knowing what to do with leftovers x
Great ideas, we never use paper products for thanksgiving. I am horrible about using paper products most of the time but Thanksgiving we use all the tableware.
Thanks for sharing your tips. I am glad to know all these
I like the idea of having a greener Thanksgiving. I’ll definitely apply these ecofriendly tips to my holiday seasons.
These are such thoughtful and helpful tips. As citizens of this world we must consciously follow them to leave a better place for our children.
I am so conscious of what we are buying and using during this time. It is so easy to just get caught up in the excess of everything!
We are having a Thanksgiving this year and I am totally using up all the leftovers. No way I am cooking tons of food for any of it to go to waste!!
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These are all fantastic tips and yes to shopping locally and only using what you need and using reusables
Do people use disposable tableware at Thanksgiving? I thought that was only done for parties and BBQs
These are such great tips for a greener Thanksgiving! Thanks so much for sharing these awesome ideas.
No plastic, no foam .. we can do this!
These are great suggestions. I definitely think we all need to be more conscious, especially when it comes to entertaining.
We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK but these are all great tips for any celebration or party – especially buying in bulk and having a good leftovers plan!
These are all great ways to be eco friendly through Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing.
these are great tips for being ecofriendly throughout the year.. thank you for the reminder and sharing these tips