Top Ten “Green” Thanksgiving Tips



Thanksgiving is one of the easiest holidays to green up. With the focus on giving thanks rather than gifts, we honor not only our family and friends but Nature's bounty, too.

Holiday feast   1.  Simplify the day. Celebrate being with those you love. Don't overdo the cooking – and savor whatever you make. Linger over dessert, play games, watch football or a favorite movie, take a walk. Revive special traditions from the past and create new ones you can turn to next Thanksgiving, and the holiday after that.

2.  Decorate with boughs and berries. There's no need to buy fancy Thanksgiving decorations. Head out to your yard with a pair of shears and find tree branches, bush stems loaded with berries, flowers whose seed heads have dried on the stem, and flowering grasses to fill tall vases, hollowed out pumpkins, and autumnal baskets.

3. Let there be light. Illuminate your table with candles  of varying heights and widths. Use votives in small glasses or carved sugar pumpkins.

4. Serve locally grown food. Even in colder, northern climates, farmers markets are still selling locally grown greens, potatoes, apples, pears, spices, breads, and cheeses. You'll find lots of good recipes for salads, side dishes and vegetarian entrees here, as well as heritage turkeys.

5. Offer organic beverages. From apple cider to wine and beer, you have plenty of organic drinks to choose from.

6. Eat all the food you make. Send guests home with leftovers in glass jars rather than wrapped in plastic or aluminum foil. Freeze leftovers in easily re-heatable portions.

7. Use reuseables. Serve your meal on cloth tablecloths and napkins, accompanied by "real" silverware and plates. Worried about cleaning up after a large crowd? Let everyone pitch in – that's half the fun!

8. Simmer cinnamon. Roasting vegetables and baking pies should infuse your home with delicious holiday aromas. For even more fragrant smells, simmer a few sticks of cinnamon and a few cloves of allspice on the stove. Dab a few drops of pine oil or other favorite fragrance on stones or pinecones that are part of your centerpiece.

9. Turn down the heat. If all your holiday cooking doesn't heat up your house, your guests will. Turn your thermostat down 3-5 degrees – no one will notice the difference.

10. Recycle and compost. Keep a bin handy for glass, plastic and paper trash you can recycle rather than toss. Make soup from vegetable peelings, leftover meat and bones. Picked-over vegetables can be composted, though remaining meat and bones will need to be thrown away. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

7 Responses to Top Ten “Green” Thanksgiving Tips

  1. Kathy J, Washington Gardener November 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi Diane! Good to see you at GreenFestDC last weekend. My own Thanksgiving Day advise is to re-use the pumpkins and other squash and gourds you had out at Halloween as name card holders at place settings, for holding flower arrangements, making easy bird/squirrel feeders (just break open and watch the show) and, of course, in recipes.

  2. Diane MacEachern November 19, 2008 at 6:13 am #

    Kathy, Good to see you, too! I love the idea of setting out the pumpkins as bird/squirrel feeders (My pumpkins are usually so icky by the time Halloween is over I can’t really use them indoors).

  3. Terra home composters November 20, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    I’m glad to see composting made the list, even though the turkey and meat need to get thrown away, those veggies make great compost!

  4. Diane MacEachern November 21, 2008 at 3:55 am #

    I agree – and the more table scraps the better. Thanks for writing.

  5. Travis Stark November 28, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    This is an awesome top ten list, hopefully people will take this advice for every Thanksgiving from now on. You should post this list on my buddy’s site http://www.toptentopten.com/.

  6. shredding dallas May 6, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Even during the holidays or any kind of occasion, let us not forget to be economical and try to reuse or recycle as much as possible. In our own little ways, we can adapt ‘green’ living to become more practical and save more money. Let me just reiterate the importance of being frugal and practical when it comes to the everyday items that we like that of paper, plastic and even electronic gadgets.
    http://www.shreddingdallas.com
    Awareness regarding recycling, whether it is paper, plastic, metal or electronic gadgets need to be strengthened so that more people will come to realize that most of the things that we consider as waste can still be put to good use.

  7. costume de baie April 1, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    As I have explained several times before, it’s not that easy. I don’t know why people seem to think you can just throw a lawsuit at something to fix all your problems.

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