It is that time of year when my husband stuffs his handsome face with too much pecan pie – Thanksgiving! Ahh, a time when families get together and gather with the best intention (someone in my family usually ends up crying on this holiday, or gets too drunk). But let’s be honest here, sometimes a holiday like Thanksgiving means a lot of food waste, or wasted money, and/or wasted resources. And it doesn’t have to be that way. Thanksgiving can be a totally zero waste event. Here are some tips on how to do it.
- Communicate clearly with your guests. Should they bring food? For how many people? Communicating with your guests will ensure they bring the correct amount of food and no two people are bringing the same thing.
- Ask guests to bring their own take away containers. I have found that most people love to have Thanksgiving leftovers the day after (some say it’s more scrumptious than the night before). And this way, if you are the host, you won’t be responsible for eating 10 pounds of leftover turkey all by yourself.
- Shop locally and and sustainably for your Thanksgiving meal ingredients. The origin of your food is so important as greenhouses gases increase with every mile your food is transported. Check out the labels on the fruit and veggies you are perusing and purchase the ones grown closest to your home.
- Check to see if your local farmer is selling turkeys for the big day. In the Twin Cities, Lakewinds Co-Op is selling meat from a few different farms in the state. Way to go, Lakewinds!
- Do you have leftover pumpkins from Halloween? Pumpkins and fall foliage make great and totally zero waste decorations for your table. Add some leaves or pine cones to spruce it up.
- Use reusable cutlery, glasses, and tableware. Don’t have enough? Ask guests to bring their own or hit up a local thrift store before the big day. A mismatch of plates, cups, and napkins ends up being its own decoration and is a conversation starter.
Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!