Thanksgiving isn’t just about family and friends and gathering around a table to eat to our heart’s content. It’s also about the Earth and what it has to offer us. This season we should give back to the environment by treating it with the care and respect it deserves. How can you have a greener Thanksgiving? There are several ways in which you can help the environment and have a delicious meal all in one day! Here’s how:
Groceries. We all need them and we’re all racing to get our frozen bird on time for the big day. When you are running to the grocery store, bring reusable bags so that you can reduce your plastic intake as well as buying only what you need. Also be sure to choose food with packaging that can be easily recycled. OR, you could always go to a farmer’s market and buy grown food that is both organic and supportive of your local farmers. And don’t forget the vegetarian option -- especially if you've heard all the recent news on the environmental impact of eating meat. See my blog about ways to eat green.
Thermostat. Try lowering the temperature in your home by a few degrees on Thanksgiving and put a fire in the fireplace to keep you warm. It creates a cheery atmosphere and it conserves extra energy. With the oven on and lots of visitors in your house, you may find your house is warm enough to really turn down the furnace!
Nature. Bring the outdoors indoors and decorate your house with it! By celebrating the Earth and all it has to offer, take advantage of all the beautiful fall colors. Leaves, pine cones, and branches with berries are excellent things to use to decorate or create a fabulous centerpiece. And these items will decompose easily – unlike decorations made of man-made materials.
Candles. Purchase some natural beeswax candles to decorate your table rather than petroleum-derived paraffin candles. Beeswax candles have been proven to be more economical than paraffin candles because they are smokeless -- meaning they burn clean and are hypoallergenic, and they also are dripless. They last up to five times longer and save you more money in the long run should you want to use them again for another occasion. They also give off a brighter flame than paraffin candles and are considered more beautiful for their “velvety bloom”. Fun fact: Beeswax candles, when burned, produce negative ions which help clean the air of dust, smoke, and pollens.
Plates and Cups. This season, don’t use paper plates and Dixie cups -- they produce too much waste and often are not recyclable. Instead, take out those “special dishes” you keep in your cupboard and serve your meal on those. Washing the dishes will help keep the environment healthy and it can also be a fun activity for the family after eating.
As part of your eco-friendly Thanksgiving, give thanks to the many ways the environment sustains and enriches our lives, and be sure to make it a time to say thank you to the people in your life who matter most. Happy Thanksgiving!