Thanksgiving is a holiday we all love and cherish, with its comfort foods and celebrations, there is always joy in the air. Although Thanksgiving is a time of bounty and cheer, it does not necessarily need to mean creating excessive waste and having a big carbon footprint. Follow along for 5 tips to make your Thanksgiving and holiday season more green and eco-friendly.

1. Use reusable plates and napkins

When hosting many guests, it can be easy to want to save the hassle of cleaning and just use disposable plates and silverware. This thanksgiving, try swapping these single-use items for reusable plates, napkins, and silverware. Using these items can make your table look much more thought-out and decorative. Using reusable items will save you money while simultaneously saving the earth!

2. Eat locally 

Eating locally is not only environmentally friendly but can also be a fun activity for the whole family. Taking a day trip to a local farm or farmer’s market can be a great way to get out of the house and buy your groceries. Not only does local and fresh food taste better, but it also supports local family farmers. Although these options might sometimes cost more, buying even a few items locally can really make a difference for the earth. 

3. Eat less meat

Although Thanksgiving has been coined “Turkey Day” in the past, it does not necessarily mean turkey needs to be served. Thanksgiving can be a celebration of all fall foods like sweet potatoes, stuffing, and other fall favorites. A turkey can be replaced with vegetarian lasagna, a beautiful salad, or even a tofurkey (turkey made out of tofu) which can be found in most grocery stores. The best part of the holiday is just sitting down together with your loved ones, no matter what food you eat. 

4. Make DIY decorations

Making your own decorations is not only cost-efficient but also a more sustainable way of decorating your Thanksgiving table. Instead of buying store-bought items, this year try DIYing your own. A fun hack is using collected dried leaves as place settings. 

Using autumn leaves straight from your neighborhood can easily turn into this year’s newest table decor. Try drying collected leaves and then writing each guest’s name in gold paint pen on the leaf. This will surely impress your guests and it costs close to nothing! 

5. Make a donation to an Environmental Cause

Thanksgiving is a holiday about giving back and being thankful for what you have. This holiday season try donating to an environmentally friendly organization in order to help out an eco-friendly cause. If a donation is not feasible, donate your time instead. 

  1. Global Footprint Network– Helps governments, companies, and individuals make more sustainable choices and decrease their carbon footprint. 
  2. Earth Day Network– The organization behind Earth Day helps to raise awareness on climate change, fight deforestation, and teach the population about climate literacy. 
  3. Marine Conservation Institute– This organization helps to protect the marine environment from pollution and climate change through its Global Ocean Refuge project. 

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