Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that grows on you as you get older. When you’re a kid, it’s a rather boring and anticlimactic holiday, merely the pretext of what’s to come in December. You start to appreciate it more when the prospect of gifts is no longer the most exciting thing in the world, when the event itself becomes what to look forward to. Whether the idea of a familial gathering makes you anxious or filled with joy, there’s something about the atmosphere of Thanksgiving that feels warm, renewing, and full of life. If you’re aiming to give thanks to the environment this year by having a more sustainable thanksgiving, here are a few things you can keep in mind whilst pilgrim-dancing and avoiding your creepy Uncle.
You don’t have to visit a farmer’s market to find local foods for thanksgiving. Several options can be found at the grocery store if you’re inclined to search for them. And then you can have a five minute discussion with the attendant about just how local it is.
I had no idea what the difference was until I did some studying, but pastured means the turkey you’re buying was raised outdoors with plenty of space, and free range means that the turkey was likely brought up indoors, but was at least outside of a cage. And it’s easy to just take the word organic on a surface level, but if you see this on a turkey, it means that it was raised free of antibiotics and fed only organic feed.
If your family likes to decorate a lot for Thanksgiving, try going outside together and collecting pinecones and leaves instead of buying plastic decorations from the store. More fun and more sustainable.
Remember to compost as much of the scraps from prep and post meal as possible. Here’s a good resource for learning the ways of composting.
Cloth Napkins, Real Dishes
Avoiding disposable plates is a good place to start when sustainablizing your tableware. You can take this up a notch by using cloth napkins instead of paper ones, washing and reusing instead of throwing out.
Use Your Leftovers
Thanksgiving leftovers can be turned into several delicious meals in the days following. No need to discard uneaten food.
Exercise Before Digging in
Not only is this healthy for all the regular reasons, it will also make the impending feast all the more satisfying. You’ll be hungrier and more capable of porking out sans guilt, the knowledge of having earned it present in each bite.
No matter what, we hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Feel free to share any of your quirky traditions below.