Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Between delicious turkey dishes, cider and apple flavored everything, and a (hopefully) fun family gathering, Thanksgiving is a magical time of the year. Luckily it also happens to be a pretty easy holiday to keep sustainable. Very basic ideas about going green, such as buying organic and not using disposables plates, will go a long way to keeping your turkey party green. But what if you want to go above and beyond the call of duty this year? Here are five Thanksgiving specific tips you might not be aware of.
Invest in a Roasting Pan
Going off of the idea of getting rid of disposables, invest in a good quality roasting pan instead of using a disposable one. The marketing around disposable pans is “why buy a roasting pan your only going to use once a year?” But remember that industries are always trying to find ways to make you go cheaper, and that question sounds like a way to get you to buy two disposables. So instead, get a good pan and don’t just use it once a year. Here are 16 easy roasting pan recipes.
Decorate with Nature
There are many great things about the holidays but kitschy plastic decorations are not one of them (I’m all for the kitsch, it’s the plastic that's the problem). This year, if you need new decorations, why not go to the park and the farmers market for your decorations instead of the dollar store? Find some wild acorns, get yourself some actual gourds and mini pumpkins, make an orange and cloves pomander, make a bouquet out of some fall foliage, and just have fun decorating organically.
Lower the Temp
While humans may not give off so much energy that they can be used as batteries ala The Matrix, we do generate a decent amount of body heat just by existing. So if you have a large gathering of people coming over to eat, take advantage of this turn down the temp a few degrees. It won’t be enough that your guests will complain but very little bit of less energy counts!
Less is More (I know, I Know)
Put down the pitchforks, I know this is the national holiday of overeating and I love that part too. But if you can, see if there’s a way to go from a massive feast to a less massive but still large feast. Americans waste nearly 25% of Thanksgiving food, and food waste is a massive problem in America overall. So instead of beelining for the biggest turkey you can find to complete the Americana Thanksgiving imagery, maybe buy a slightly smaller turkey (and use that as an excuse to buy a slightly higher quality bird). One trick is to set smaller plates, as an overflowing plate will always feel like a feast even if it’s slightly less food than the big plate. But while we’re on the topic of food waste….
Plan Out Your Leftover Recipes
If you’re like me you can eat roast turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sandwiches every day for the rest of your life. But if you can’t do that, be sure to have a bunch of recipes on hand that’ll help you eat those leftovers with a little more variety. Again, America is the food waste capital of the world. Don’t left those leftovers rot in the back of your fridge simply because you got bored eating the same meal several days in a row. Here are some quick ones for you but there are plenty others out there.
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