12 Steps to Hosting a Green Thanksgiving

TurkeyCome November 27th, most of us will be digging up our “fat pants” and preparing our stomachs for the ultimate feast.  Thanksgiving has come to be known as the holiday to indulge, let loose, forget our troubles, and eat whatever the heck we want.  To Hell with that no-carb diet!

This year, I challenge our readers to a sustainability test.  Although the holidays are a time to splurge a little, we should all attempt to cut back on waste.  So if you’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, take a gander at the list of suggestions and see how many you can accomplish.

Before the guests arrive…

  • Plan ahead and determine how much food you’ll actually need to please your guests. We all love leftovers, but if there is too much, we may end up throwing the rest out. A Thanksgiving calculator comes in handy here.
  • Prepare your shopping list and hit the local farmers market to get the freshest vegetables and gourds. If you’re looking for high-quality organic produce, this is typically where you’ll find it at the best price.
  • Being a vegetarian (or vegan) on Thanksgiving is harder than finding a parking spot on Black Friday. But if you’re up for the challenge, give Tofurky a try.  The “revolutionary tofu-wheat protein blend” is said to taste like the real thing.  Just don’t be surprised if you’re the only one indulging in this delicacy.
  • If you’re not quite ready to go veg, visit a local family-owned farm to find that beautiful bird. Turkeys raised on a factory farm are pumped with antibiotics and hormones in order to fatten them up and produce more of the white meat that is so favored by Americans.  Smaller farms usually let the turkeys roam free and dine on a natural diet.
  • You may have to visit the supermarket for all your other grocery needs. Remember to bring your reusable bags, and try to buy in bulk to reduce excess packaging and wrappers.

During the feast…

  • With a crowded house and an oven pumping out 350° of heat, your house is going to become a sweatbox. Turn your thermostat down several degrees before your guests arrive to save your heater from going on and producing unneeded heat.
  • Banish the bottle and serve your guests some tasty tap water. Since residential waterways go through a filtration system, they’ll never know the difference.
  • Stay away from disposable dinnerware, silverware, and paper napkins. They will save you some clean-up time but they will also clog up our landfills.  In fact, it could take a hundred years for one plastic fork to decompose.
  • The average dishwasher uses around seven gallons of water per load, so make sure to fill that baby up before you run it.

After the pie…

  • There are bound to be leftovers after a meal like this, so package them up in reusable containers. Plastic wrap and tin foil just create extra waste.  If there is too much food for you to consume yourself, have your guests leave with a goody bag, or drop some off at the local food shelter.
  • Gather up all those water bottles and soda cans and throw them in the recycling bin, or deposit them for a little extra pocket change.
  • Pro level: toss unfinished veggies, fruit rinds, old dinner rolls, coffee grounds, and turkey bones in your compost pile and have some great plant food next spring!

Whether you’re a newbie or an old pro at hosting Thanksgiving, test out a few of these pointers and let us know how they work out for you.  As always, if you have any additional suggestions on how to go green this holiday season, add them in the comments section!

From everyone at YourEnergyBlog, have a cheerful and fulfilling Thanksgiving!



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