Celebrating Thanksgiving in a more eco-friendly fashion pays tribute to the tradition of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest. A table filled with locally grown foods purchased from local farms provides guests with a dinner they won’t soon forget.
Green Your Thanksgiving by Shopping Local
Although shopping at the supermarket to get all the ingredients for your Thanksgiving dinner may be easier, try purchasing your ingredients from local farmers instead. For a large gathering, consider purchasing two smaller turkeys (10 to 12 pounds) instead of one large turkey. Smaller turkeys cook faster and require less resources to raise and transport. Family-owned turkey farms that specialize in raising organic and free range turkeys can be found throughout the United States. Local Harvest is a great resource for finding organic or locally grown vegetables, fruits and organic or free range turkey.
Green Your Thanksgiving With Natural Decorations
Another way to green your Thanksgiving is to bring the outdoors inside by utilizing elements from nature to decorate. Twigs, miniature pumpkins, squash, leaves and small gourds add a splash of natural color to your table. For an added touch, show what you’re thankful for by creating a give thanks tree made from twigs placed in a vase and small leaves cut out from cardstock scraps. Write what you’re thankful for on each of the leaves and hang on the twigs.
Use Small Appliances to Do the Cooking
Instead of roasting a turkey in the oven, consider using a roaster instead. According to the Sheridan Electric Cooperative, a roaster typically uses just 5 kwh. Compare that to a standard oven which uses approximately 95 kwh of electricity. For casseroles and side dishes, a microwave or slow cooker uses less energy than a stovetop.
Avoid Disposables for a Green Thanksgiving
Make Thanksgiving even more special by using linen napkins, placemats and tablecloths instead of disposable items. Disposable paper napkins and plates Cloth napkins and other linens are reusable and easy to wash after use. Avoid using paper plates by using ceramic or china plates you already have on hand.
Leave the TV Off for an Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving
One of the keys to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle is to reduce your energy use. Thanksgiving Day should be no exception. Leave the television off for the day and enjoy conversation with friends and family. Instead of relying on the television to keep guests entertained, break out some of your favorite board games or cards. Break the ice by playing a game of charades or Thanksgiving trivia. If you’re fortunate enough to have a musician in the house, encourage them to play a few songs on the piano or guitar.
A green Thanksgiving celebration doesn’t require sacrifice. Just take time to enjoy locally grown food, engaging conversation and the opportunity to spend time with family and friends.
Local Harvest – http://www.localharvest.org/organic-turkey.jsp
Sheridan Electric Cooperative – http://www.sheridanelectric.coop/Tips/energy_use_chart/index.html