Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, delicious food and great company. Unfortunately this most American of holidays can generate a lot of waste: food waste, disposable plates, plastic utensils and cups, and wasted energy.
Here are five quick tips to reduce waste and focus on the things that matter.
1. An Organic Bird: When it comes to buying the holiday turkey, we recommend buying an organic bird. Look for labels saying, “USDA certified organic” or “No Antibiotics Administered” with a “USDA Process Verified” seal. e2 Business Liberty Heights Fresh offers some great options.
2. Local Sides: Swing by the Winter Farmers Market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rio Grande Depot to pick up local greens, squash, root vegetables, etc. Also, think about minimizing your use of meat in recipes — vegetarian dishes have a lower carbon footprint. For recipe suggestions, visit our Green Thanksgiving Pinterest board.
3. Durable Tableware: We understand the temptation, but please resist the urge to purchase single-use table settings. After their one use, they go right to the landfill where they take years to degrade (if they ever!) If you’re hosting, ask your guests to pitch in to help wash dishes. If you’re headed to a celebration away from your home, pack up some silverware, plates, and cups (or a water bottle) and bring them along. The extra ten seconds it takes to pack up your own dishes saves landfill space and energy.
4. Creative Leftovers: Thanksgiving dinner is wonderful, but we all know that there is plenty of food left over after the big meal. If you’re planning to take some leftovers home with you, bring along a few empty glass food containers from home, which will eliminate the need for disposable containers. You can also minimize food waste by turning your turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and other foodstuff into innovative leftover recipes. Dispose of spoiled fruits and vegetables food in a compost bin.
5. Compost and Recycle: For those hosting Thanksgiving meals, be sure to clearly mark bins for recycling and composting. This will eliminate the build-up of trash in your home and will keep unnecessary waste out of the landfill.
For more information, visit these websites: