The holidays seem to make the coldest months of the year also the warmest. Gathering with friends and family brightens our spirits, but it can also increase our garbage waste-line. Americans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s as compared to any other time of the year. Follow these tips at your home to enhance the spirit of Thanksgiving without the waste.
Use real plates and silverware and cloth napkins. If you don’t have enough to accommodate your group, consider renting, purchasing from a local thrift store, or asking guests to bring dishes and silverware. Use decorations from nature. Think pine cones, leaves, pumpkins, squash and acorns. Label your inside bins, so that guests know where to find garbage, recycle, and food waste.
Use what’s in your pantry. Build your menu around what you already have. Make a list of exactly what you will need and know for how many you are planning. For portion planning, go to: Easy Green Thanksgiving Tips. Check out these waste-free meal recipes.
In The Kitchen
- Plan for your leftovers. Set aside food storage containers, to limit using plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
- Ask guests to bring their own containers to take home leftovers.
- Use all parts of the food you buy. For example, make vegetable stock for soup out of vegetable scraps.
- Here are a few more ideas: Reuse ideas for food scraps. Remember, any food scraps you can’t find another use for can go in the compost.
At The Store
Remember your reusable shopping bags! If you have kids, enlist a helper to remember the bags. Buy only what you need. Making a grocery list and shopping when you’re not hungry will help you. Visit your farmers market to find local produce and even a turkey! Find a local market here. Shop in the bulk section, so you can buy exactly what you need. Some stores will even let you bring your own reusable containers!
If you plan to brave the crowds on Black Friday, don’t forget reusable shopping bags!