Thanksgiving is right around the corner! We know that there are many different ways to recognize this holiday, and hope that no matter how you spend the day, you’ll keep the earth in mind. What better way to send gratitude to the earth then to make eco-conscious decisions for the dinner table? We believe that our celebration and our activism can go hand in hand, and make the day even more merry! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Be conscious of your packaging while shopping. Bring your reusable shopping bags with you to the store. Recycle all the paper, plastic, and glass containers that you can!
- Incorporate more plant based foods. Chloe Coscarelli, award-winning vegan chef, advises that you do quick ingredient swaps to make traditional holiday dishes more plant-based. For instance, swap chicken broth for vegetable broth in a soup base, top your sweet potatoes with vegan marshmallows instead of regular gelatin-filled marshmallows, trade butter for olive oil in your veggies or use coconut milk instead of regular milk in your mashed potatoes! Easy peasy!
- Shop locally grown food. Even in colder, northern climates, farmers markets are still selling locally grown greens, potatoes, apples, pears, spices, breads, and cheeses. You’ll find lots of good recipes for salads, side dishes and vegetarian entrees here, as well as farm-raised turkeys, if you’re looking to incorporate the traditional entree!
- Avoid food waste by keeping your meal simple. Is it possible to cut back on one or two of your side dishes? What items will save well for leftovers?
- Let nature serve as your decor! Don’t pumpkins, leaves, pinecones and branches all make adorable Thanksgiving decorations? They will all also be biodegradable and easy to dispose of once the merriment has concluded.
- Avoid disposable tableware. This shouldn’t be too much of a challenge this year with most families opting for smaller Thanksgiving dinners. Celebrate the family you might not be able to be with this year by pulling out the china and serving dishes loved by generations past. If you are packaging leftovers, reuse plastic Tupperware or recycled glass jars instead of the throw away alternatives.
- Get creative with your leftovers! Plan ahead of time and find some recipes to rework the dishes you may have extra of.
- Recycle and compost. If you do end up using disposable, keep a bin handy for glass, plastic and paper trash you can recycle. Make soup from vegetable peelings, leftover meat and bones. Picked-over vegetables can be composted!
It may not be possible for you and yours to apply all of these tips to your holiday plans, but we hope this short list of ideas has made you excited to celebrate in gratitude for the planet! Even just one alteration to a greener alternative can make a big difference. And if you do make one of these changes, please share your holiday joy with us by using the hashtag #everydroppscount!