Planning for an Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving

If you’ve been living the green lifestyle for a while now, then you know that there are always ways to implement eco-friendly practices, regardless of the situation. And the holidays are no exception. So when the gluttony of turkey-day rolls around, you may be a bit nervous about hosting a huge feast; but you likely know that you can find methods of managing your carbon footprint. You might just need a few tips and tricks to help you out. So here are some good ways to do something to show the Earth that you’re thankful for the bounty it provides.

1. Type of food. When it comes to getting eco-friendly with the eats, you really can’t do better than going organic. Fruits, veggies, meats, and even animal products all come in organic options that keep chemical pesticides and fertilizers out of the air, soil, water, and more importantly, your body. They taste amazing and they will keep your holiday feast healthy for your family and for the environment. If you can find locally grown and raised options, as well, you’ll also cut back on the greenhouse gas emissions that the shipping industry is notorious for and you’ll get the freshest foods possible.

2. Amount of food. Historically, Thanksgiving is not only about giving thanks for all that you have, but also about producing (and consuming) a bountiful feast. However, you don’t have to go overboard creating everyone’s favorite dish so that you’re so overwhelmed by food that you can’t possibly hope to eat it all (even with leftovers) before it spoils. Everything in moderation is a good rule to live by and if you end up with just enough leftovers for later in the evening, you’ve done well.

3. Decorations. You can use organic textiles to make tablecloths, napkins, and even banners to hang for many years to come. But if you want to create a decorative centerpiece for the table or festive decorations to place around the house, look to nature. Take the family for a nature hike leading up to the holidays to collect fiery leaves, pine cones, and branches that have fallen from the trees. Then use them to create beautiful, seasonal decorations for your home that can be sent back to nature (instead of the landfill) when you’re done with them.

4. Entertainment. You’re not hosting a block party or office event that requires some crazy corporate entertainment like magicians, belly dancers, or an A-list band. Thanksgiving may bring a big crowd to your table, but everyone is likely to be family and close friends. So they’re not going to expect anything big for this shindig. But if you’d rather skip the energy drain that comes from leaving the football game on all day, why not opt for energy-free entertainment like board games, charades, or a round of singing and story-telling? These activities will bring everyone closer together and make for some great family memories, unlike a football game or rerun on TV.

5. Altruism. Just because you have a lot to be thankful for doesn’t mean everyone does. If you really want to go green this year, take your party to the trenches by volunteering for service and donating food to those in need over the holidays.