Thanksgiving dinner comes with more stress and planning than any other meal of the year. It isn’t easy to cook the perfect meal for your entire extended family! The turkey has to be basted to perfection and the pumpkin pie has to be spot-on. But during all the preparation, it’s easy to forget about the environmental impact of all this cooking. Here are four easy ways to have a green Thanksgiving.
Choose reusable dishes
It’s tempting to use disposable dishes on Thanksgiving. With so much prep work going into the meal, the last thing you want to do is spend just as much time cleaning it up. But using paper or plastic dishes generates unnecessary waste. Nearly 25 tons of extra trash to be exact. Choosing reusable dishes minimizes the amount of trash added to landfills. And it doesn’t have to be a chore: Set up a system where the people who didn’t cook will clean up. Or put on some festive music and work together. It’ll be done in no time!
Eat less meat
Turkey may be the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving dinner, but the side dishes can be the true stars. This holiday, try focusing your cooking efforts on fun sides. And consuming less meat has a positive impact on the planet. In particular, the meat industry is responsible for 231 billion mounds of methane emissions. Furthermore, raising livestock takes natural resources—which can go to waste when people throw away leftover meat. Let some of the other dishes shine this green Thanksgiving and consider getting a smaller turkey. What kind of new casserole can you create? Or consider eating a tasty meat substitute.
Have you caught yourself throwing away more Thanksgiving food than you ate? This year, plan out your portions carefully. Instead of blindly buying ingredients at the store, make a detailed list of your guests and how much food you think they’ll eat. This will help reduce your leftovers. And when you do have your inevitable leftovers, be mindful of them. For example, donate your extra turkey—or share it with a neighbor.
Buy local, organic ingredients
Support local food suppliers this Thanksgiving! Buying from smaller farmer’s markets reduces the environmental impact of your food. You’ll also be supporting local businesses instead of huge corporations. And when you buy your ingredients, focus on making dishes that feature heart-healthy vegetables.
Thanksgiving is a time for looking back and being thankful for what you have. And you can show appreciation by utilizing sustainable food practices that preserve the environment. So be mindful of how much trash you’re generating and make sure that you’re doing what you can to have a small environmental impact. Looking for more information on sustainability? Follow our blog to learn about The Organic Snack Company, quality food choices and more.