Easy green Thanksgiving tips

Thanksgiving marks the kick-off of the holiday season that brings with it big family dinners, gift shopping and elaborate decorations. However, it also marks the beginning of a season of waste that grows every year. Begin your holiday season off on the green foot by make a few small, eco-friendly changes starting with Thanksgiving by following these tips:

Food Shopping

Before you start your slide into a turkey coma, stop to think about where your turkey and the rest of your food is coming from. Key words to focus on are organic and local. By buying organic and local food products, not only are you choosing a healthier option, but you are supporting your local economy. Also, try to buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste and don't forget about your vegetarian guests.

Know your crowd

Thanksgiving especially is a time when everyone should be welcome at your table so it's a little difficult to plan ahead, but knowing how many people will be eating will help you make sure you have the right amount of food and will help reduce the amount of food that is wasted.

Use Less Stuff created a handy list of approximate per person food and drink portions:

-- Turkey- 1 pound
-- Stuffing- ¼ pound
-- Sweet potato casserole- ¼ pound
-- Green beans- ¼ pound
-- Cranberry relish- 3 tablespoons
-- Pumpkin pie- 1/8 of a 9 inch pie

Try to keep track, from year to year, how much food is left over each year so you can make a more efficient, less wasteful Thanksgiving dinner in the future.

Get off the couch!

It's a natural progression to move from the dinner table to the couch to watch some football and nap. Instead, go outside and do something fun! Put together a football game of your own or go for a walk or play a board game. This will continue the togetherness of your family and give you a little exercise to help work off all the delicious food you just ate.

Lose the leftovers

It's a confirmed fact, you are going to have leftovers once the dust settles on dinner. But what you decide to do with them matters. Make sure you send some food home with each of your guests so that they can continue the Thanksgiving goodness once they are home. If you bought in bulk, you will have some handy containers to use. You can also donate leftovers to the local food shelf and share your Thanksgiving dinner that way. Also, don't forget to compost whatever food scraps you have rather than throwing them away.


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