Thanksgiving is just around the corner.
With all of the food, preparations, packaging and waste, it's easy to see how bad this holiday can be for the environment. So, if you are looking for ways to make the holiday feast a little greener this year, look no further. Here are some tips for a more eco-friendly Turkey Day meal.
Forgo the turkey. The most obvious eco-solution is to not buy a turkey at all, and just have a complete vegan or vegetarian meal. But for some, the day just wouldn't be the same without the traditional Thanksgiving symbol of the turkey. The news has been filled in recent years with talk of the environmental impact of eating meat, but if your family, like mine, still enjoys a good Thanksgiving Day bird, you might need to come up with a compromise.
One way is by buying an organic, free-range turkey—one that is not kept in a cage, fed growth hormones or given steroids or antibiotics.
Organic, free-range turkeys can be expensive, so if it doesn’t fit in your budget this year consider another alternative. Buy a regular turkey and the rest of your food organic.
Organic fruits and veggies can round out the meal. Buy everything you can possibly buy organic, and local if possible. Milk, meat, veggies, fruits, etc. This includes any boxed or canned items you may have to purchase.
When you do go to the store to buy these things, try to select items that have the least amount of packaging, and try to buy packaging that is biodegradable and/or recyclable.
And while I always hear the words of Grandmom reminding me that “it's better to have too much than not enough,” I still suggest that cooking less is another way to green your holiday meal. Think about all the leftovers you had last year and then cut down on that amount of servings if you are going to have the same amount of people over this year. Between the turkey, the side dishes and the desserts, there is plenty of food for everyone and more.
If you accidentally do make too much food or someone cancels, make use of the leftovers by eating them within a day or two or giving the leftovers away to family and friends. Don’t let them get old and moldy in the fridge.
Once the meal is cooked, you'll need to serve it. Break out the good dishes! What are you waiting for? It is a holiday after all. Or even your regular dishes are OK for Thanksgiving. Just try to steer clear of disposable items. If the thought of washing so many dishes is truly too much, look into biodegradable disposable dishes which are now available at most grocery stores.
Relax, kick back and enjoy. Turn down the heat, open up a window, and let in the fresh, crisp, autumn air.
And don't forget to be thankful for all that you have at Thanksgiving and every day of the year.