Waste Less and Spend Less This Thanksgiving

It’s the time of year when we are supposed to be thankful for what we have, but it all too often ends up being the time of year when we waste the most. Here are a few tips to help you be a little more green this thanksgiving and maybe feel a little less guilty.

No disposable dishes or utensils: Disposable dishes and utensils can make the cleanup for large dinners a breeze, but also generates tons of trash, literally! According to cleanair.org Americans throw away enough paper plates and cups to circle the earth 200 times each year. Cloth napkins are also a great way to help cut down on this waste.

Buy Eco-Friendly Birds: The most popular option for this tip is probably to buy an organic turkey. For a turkey to be considered organic by the USDA it must be raised without antibiotics, or growth enhancers, only given organic feed and have access to the outdoors. A happy turkey is a delicious turkey.

Buy Fresh Vegetables from your Local Farmer’s Market: Buying fresh and local not only reduces pollution from transportation, but eliminates unrecyclable waste such as laminated cardboard.

Instead of Making Nametags from Paper, Consider an Edible Option: Try writing names in a sauce or in finger food. You could also try using an old photograph to add a nostalgic and personal touch to your seating chart.

Compost Any Food Waste: Just about any type of food waste will make good compost: fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains, bread, unbleached paper napkins, coffee filters, eggshells and meat waste all make excellent compost.

Carpool to Family Dinners: Just one carpool can take 4 vehicles off the road.

Limit Trips to the Store: Make a list and get everything in one go. If you do need an essential item ask someone who is coming over a little early to pick it up on the way.

Make Multiple Items in the Oven When Possible: If two items bake at the same temperature then bake them together to help conserve power.

Instead of Using Gourds or Flowers for a Centerpiece, Let the Food Speak for Itself: Sometimes the food can make the best centerpiece since it already has everyone’s attention.

Reuse Silverware: Although it might be odd to eat pecan pie off a plate swimming in gravy, other dishes such as silverware and glasses can be used throughout your holiday event. Fewer dirty dishes means less water is wasted.

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