Halloween has come and gone which means people will quickly begin to prepare for Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving season is always exciting as people prepare to spend time with family they haven’t seen in a long time and prepare for a big dinner. By nature, this is a time of excess as people prepare food that isn’t eaten; use an excess of resources, and otherwise engage in activities that are not environmentally friendly. Such practices are carried out without thought to the harm they cause. With a little extra planning and effort, many eco-friendly practices can be employed.

Avoid disposable plates and utensils: Using paper plates and utensils is convenient but creates a large amount of waste that takes years to full decompose. Instead, let Thanksgiving be a special occasion that you bring out the good dishes. If disposable items are a must, go for items that made of recyclable materials.

Eco-friendly palm leaf plates

Carpool: This may require a bit more planning to be successful, but it is worth it and future generations will be thankful when they breathe in clean air. Carpooling reduces the number of cars on the road during a time of heavy traveling which reduces emissions into the air.

Prepare smaller amounts of food: While it is customary to prepare a large meal for the family, most of it is not eaten and is discarded. Leaving less popular dishes off the menu reduces food waste. Further, make an effort to support local farms by purchasing fresh and health food.

Use natural decorations: Save money and make it a family project to gather pine cones and leaves for decorations. Plastic centerpieces purchased from the store are often used once and thrown away. They also commonly are synthetic and petroleum based.

 Pine cones for decorations

Be mindful of energy use: With many dishes to be prepared, it is easy to double or triple your energy use. To reduce usage, cook items in the oven together. With extra houseguests, be sure to go over water and electricity usage to keep it to a minimum.

The tips we have provided are a starting point. Along with your family you can brainstorm ways that fit your family’s plans to have the greenest Thanksgiving possible. We urge you to start early so that the proper preparations can be made now and all that needs to be done on Thanksgiving is to enjoy the turkey!