Thanksgiving is almost here and I know you might be wondering how you can make your holiday meal as green as possible so I have been doing my research! After reading many green articles these are the points I have seen the most:
1. Go Vegetarian! The clearest way to go green is to not buy a turkey and just have a complete vegetarian meal. Meat eating has a serious effect on our environment. However I feel most people either don’t believe how bad it is or would say our 1 turkey won’t make a difference so I have an alternative. Find a turkey as locally as possible. Even ones you can kill yourself. I think this may have enough of an impact on your family to not want to eat any animals again. If that option is also not available go as organic, hormone free and free range as possible. Convincing people to go green isn’t always as quick a process as we would like so try to compromise without ruining the fun of the holiday.
2. Go Organic!Buy all of your foods and ingredients organically. Most local grocery stores carry organic brands. Don’t be fooled by all natural that isn’t regulated by the government so any company can safely say all natural and technically mean it.
3. Go Packageless! Find items with as little packaging as possible. Usually if you are buying fresh fruits and vegetables no packing is necessary just pick the items out of the bins. If packaging is a must try to find items that are packaged in reusable ways so after Thanksgiving you can use the packaging to give out left overs or store other food.
4. Go Potluck!: At any event it is only good manners to never go any where empty handed. Take advantage of this for large holidays. Ask each guest to bring 1 item and let you know ahead of time so you can plan accordingly. The host can save on money, no one will be stuck with massive amounts of left overs and if you also ask your guests to bring their own tupperware they can take home any left overs they want!
5. Go Reusable!Since this is a huge meal and you want it to look nice don’t use paper utensils. Go all out! Use the good stuff. I know washing dishes is a pain but again if people bring their own items and bring something to carry left overs in that cuts the amount of dishes you will use down considerably. This will also help you save water. You won’t be able to avoid doing dishes at all but if you set up an assembly line of a washer, dryer and then someone to put the dishes away it won’t be so much of a chore.
6. Use less energy!You will be cooking in the kitchen which will keep some of the house warm. There will also be many people in one area so instead of putting the heat on full blast use small decorative sand bags around windows and doors to keep the heat in. If it is too hot no need for the a/c just open a few windows around the house! It is winter after all so take advantage of the natural air conditioning.
7. Decorate Creatively! Reuse old decorations from last year. No need to buy new ones. When shopping for decorations make sure you look for ones you know will withstand the test of time. Also look online for decorations you can make out of house hold items or even ones you can incorporate into the dinner.
8. Stay Local!Participate in the 100-Mile Thanksgiving challenge from Treehugger. If you haven’t heard of it yet click here. It is very important to keep all of your meals as local as possible. This is a great way to keep local economies afloat as well as creating much less waste and pollution.
9. Give Back!The reason for Thanksgiving is to give thanks sooooo, in doing so maybe make it a new family tradition to plant something in honor of the day. Plant Trees as a Gift.
10. Get Carbon Credits!If you cannot get out of staying local for your holiday event then you can purchase a carbon credit to make up for it. A carbon credit is a generic term for any tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e).
11. Donate Your Fat! Many companies now use animal fats and oils to turn into bio fuel. This is a way businesses can save money. Check out your local businesses and see where you can make a donation.
12. Stay Green! Use the tips and ideas from this holiday and carry them over to every holiday or event you attend. The more often you incorporate greenness into your lifestyle the quicker it becomes second nature. You can also encourage others in your circle to do the same!
If you have any other tips or ideas let us know! We would love to hear them all!! Send in your pictures or tips and we will post them on the Beagle!