Green Your Turkey Day!
Less than three weeks 'til Thanksgiving! If you're having Thanksgiving right now, you might be thinking about ways to make your Thanksgiving dinner a little greener.
- Look into getting a local free range turkey. You may need to order one in advance, so start making calls now! Lower your Thanksgiving's carbon footprint, support small farms, and buy one that was humanely raised. (Skipping the turkey is the most eco-friendly option, but for big family get togethers, it's not terribly realistic)
- Make as much at home as possible. Things like cranberry sauce often come in cans, creating more waste. Find some fresh cranberries and make your own sauce. (And if you're near cranberry bogs, get some yummy local ones!)
- Use up the whole turkey. My husband loves those giblets, but I can't stomach them. You can always use them to cook things like gravy. As for the bones and stuff, consider making some soup the following day. My husband is half Chinese, so his tradition is to make jook (Chinese porridge) the next day with the turkey carcass. Check out this recipe.
- Buy as much local food as you can. In some regions this is tough, but even in New England, where I live, it's not too late to find locally grown pumpkins (mmmm, pie!) or squash.
- If you have guests traveling for Thanksgiving, plant a tree together or buy some carbon offsets.
- Don't use paper plates, paper cups, or plastic flatware.
- Get creative with the decorations. Use gourds or pumpkins that you can compost, potted plants, or crunchy leaves. If you have kids, have them make some cute decorations out of recycled stuff, like hand turkeys from paper bags.
- Don't buy soda or bottled water. Some good beverage ideas include filtered water, homemade iced tea, homemade lemonade, local microbrews and wines, or some homemade soda or seltzer if you have a soda maker, like the SodaStream. It's probably not too late to get some locally made apple cider.
- Urge your guests to compost. Make an obvious compost bin and label what can go in there. Same for recycling.
- Decrease your energy usage. Turn off the NFL game and play some football outside together as a family.
Lastly, Don't cook too much. Use Less Stuff has a handy dandy chart:
|Food/Drink||Portion Per Person|
|Turkey||12-14 lbs for up to 10 people|
|Sweet Potato Casserole||1/4 lb|
|Green Beans||1/4 lb|
|Cranberry Relish||3 tablespoons|
|Pumpkin Pie||1/8 on a 9" pie|
And as for Black Friday? Skip it or do it the green way.