The stores are already decked with boughs of holly and ringing with fa-la-las, which means the holiday season is in full swing! But wait, there’s something that comes between Halloween and Christmas… that’s Thanksgiving!
A traditional holiday for family get togethers and celebrating the harvest seems like a perfect match for going green. So whether you’re planning a big family meal, or a feast for two, take a few steps to make yours a green holiday.
Makin’ a list – take the time to survey your cupboards and plan a meal, then make your shopping list so you’ll know exactly what you do, and don’t, need to buy. Plan your route so you can make multiple stops in one trip. Bonus points if you calculate the route that hits all the places you need using the least fuel possible. Stop in a central spot and walk to multiple shops if possible. And remember your reusable shopping bags!
Go local – if your farmer’s market has already shut down for the season, search around for alternative local sources for meat and produce. You’ll be supporting your local economy, plus heating healthier, locally grown food.
Bring out the good stuff – forget disposables. Dust of your grandmother’s china and iron up the cloth napkins and tablecloths. This is a time to celebrate and embrace family and abundance, what better time to be kind to Mother Earth by not using disposables? If you don’t have enough of one setting, take the mix and match approach.
Cook smart – plan out that meal to make the most of oven time. Turkey roasting at 400 degrees? Choose sides that can go in the oven at the same temperature. Hey, nothing’s more impressive than having all the dishes done at the same time! Once you’re ready to carve the turkey and you’ve turned off the oven, keep using it to hold other foods to stay warm, or to keep the rolls toasty.
Go au natural – make a centerpiece out of found items from nature. Pretty, colorful leaves in a hurricane. Acorns and pinecones in a wood bowl. Almost anything from nature will work. Magnolia and boxwood are great for bits of seasonal greenery, twigs and pussywillow are pretty as well. Set out gourds, then turn them into birdhouses when the holiday is over. Go edible and put out a big bowl of colorful, organic fruits and nuts.
Go eco – candles add so much sparkle to any gathering, make sure yours are kind to the plant. Choose soy or beeswax candles instead of paraffin. Soy emits no carcinogens when it burns and beeswax is a renewable resources.
Embrace leftovers – ask everyone to bring a reusable container to fill with leftovers to take home. Bonus: you don’t have to figure out what to do with all that leftover turkey. Extra Bonus: you don’t have all that plastic wrap and aluminum foil to deal with.
Make it easy – put out clearly labeled trash, compost and recyclable containers so your guests don’t have to guess what goes where.
Carpool – over the river and through the woods… if you’re traveling, or folks are traveling to you, encourage carpooling so there’s only one car on the road instead of three or four.