Tips for Throwing a Green Thanksgiving Dinner

When most people think of throwing an eco-friendly party, they immediately think of buying organic foods or avoiding products with unnecessary packaging etc. However many people over look some very simple ways to make their party more eco-friendly Throwing an eco-friendly Thanksgiving Dinner boils down to two basic principles. The first is saving energy and the second is avoiding products which have chemicals/emissions which are harmful to the environment.

By far the most wasted energy and environmental damage done by a Thanksgiving Party will not have anything to do with what people eat or what kinds of decorations they buy, ect. Rather the bulk of the environmental damage will be caused by emissions from cars as guests drive to and from the party. This is especially true when family and friends are driving long distances to get to the party. The biggest impact you can having on making your party more eco-friendly is to encourage them to car-pool or use public transportation.

The issue of driving not only applies to guests, but also to the host. When buying supplies and food for the party, minimize your driving by trying to pickup everything you need in as few trips as possible. If you want to buy organic foods, but need to make a lengthy drive to the organic foods store, then try to plan ahead and bring back other things you will be likely to buy later so you can make trips less often.

Another great way to save energy and reduce emissions is to use your microwave as much as possible instead of your stove top or oven. Think about this: A typical microwave and an oven both use about the same amount of power (around 1000 Watts,) but cooking something which takes 20 minutes in the oven can often be cooked in a microwave in 3-4 minutes. That means you will only use about 1/5 or 1/6 as much energy by using your microwave instead of your oven and that’s not even considering the time it takes for the oven to warm up.

If you have to use your oven you can save energy by cooking multiple items at the same time. For example you can probably cook that casserole at the same temperature as your turkey. Likewise you can reduce total cooking time by cooking smaller portions; Cooking two small turkeys at the same time will use less energy than cooking one big turkey.

You can also help the environment by preparing as much of the food as possible rather than buying prepackaged food. Not to mention it will probably by much cheaper. There are endless numbers of homemade stuffing recipes, for example, which will be far more eco-friendly than buying a box of stuffing.

Cider and mead are perfect complements with a Thanksgiving Dinner. If you like hard cider or mead you can check out my articles about making them yourself. Not only are there no preservatives, but their much cheaper and far more eco-friendly than buying store varieties:

How to Make Your Own Hard Cider (Easiest)

How to Make Hard Cider

How to Make Your Own Mead

Finally you can reduce waste, by simply purchasing less decorations. Let’s face it, a great Thanksgiving is great because of the time spent with family and friends, not decorations. If you do use decorations or already have some, save them and reuse them from year to year.

Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

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