Thanksgiving is a time to show gratitude. Earth belongs to all of us. We can show love and make Thanksgiving extra special by doing it with sustainability in mind. It doesn’t take much effort to celebrate a green Thanksgiving as you’ll see from these five tips. And the best thing about living green with these tips is that they’re stress-free.
Celebrate Thanksgiving at home and skip the hassle of packing and catching a flight. If you must travel, take fuel-efficient transportation. Trains use less carbon than vehicles.
You can reduce the number of vehicles on the roads by carpooling with friends and family members. Before you leave, lower the thermostat, turn off all the lights and electronics, and unplug anything not in use.
For celebrations in your home, invite your neighbors who can walk over. What a better way to get to know your neighbors better. The more neighbors you know, the more they’ll look out for you and your home.
Reduce, recycle, and reuse
Add color to your celebration by using cloth napkins. After the Thanksgiving fun ends, just throw them all in the wash along with any tablecloths. It’ll be better than filling up yet another trash bag. When you shop for food, take reusable bags to help reduce plastic bag use.
If you opt to use recyclable paper goods, be sure to have a big box or trash bag clearly marked with “Recyclable.” Otherwise recyclables might be thrown away with the trash. Better yet, use the good dishes or china. You won’t have to worry about leaky or floppy paper plates and cleaning up spills. Besides, it’ll be easier to cut food with a real knife instead of a plastic one.
Buy local and organic
Shopping local gets you the freshest food and supports your local economy. Local food tends to be picked or packaged most recently, which makes it fresher and healthier. Some nutrients can be lost during transportation. Furthermore, buying local lowers the carbon footprint as food doesn’t travel as far as those transported across the country or ocean.
Eating local food also supports farmers who sell directly to consumers. It allows family farms to hold on to their land. To find farmers markets near you, enter your zip code into the LocalHarvest tool. Before you plan your meal, check out the Eat Local tool to discover what fruits and vegetables are in season in your state.
Need more reasons to eat local? American Farmland Trust provides details on the benefits of eating local.
Why buy organic? Organic food has not been exposed to chemicals, which can harm the environment. Not only is organic food better for our planet, but also for your health.
Throwing scraps in a compost bin takes just as much effort as throwing them in the trash. Except using a compost bin turns scraps into something useful. Compost enriches soil, reduces the use of chemical fertilizer, and lowers methane emissions from landfills.
Make eco-friendly decorations
Homemade Thanksgiving decorations add a personal touch and elegance in your home. Get creative with pinecones, leaves, gourds, corn cobs and acorns. Construction paper can go far and then be recycled when you’re finished with it. Or save the decorations for next year.
Kids can trace their hands on construction paper to make a turkey with the thumb being the turkey’s face. Insert the paper turkey into a pinecone, write a guest’s name on it and there’s your place setting. For more decoration inspiration, search Pinterest for DIY Thanksgiving decorations.
Sustainability is a year-round habit. Here are more tips for living green at home. Remember to take the time to thank the people in your life, be mindful, and help others. When you do, you’ll enjoy your green Thanksgiving to the fullest.