How to Go Green for Thanksgiving

Odds are, like many Americans, you have become more aware of the environment and the effect that you have on it over the last few years. In fact, you probably make a concerted effort to be more environmentally friendly, from recycling trash to buying organic food products. There are just too many benefits to going green to ignore. Not only are you helping to preserve the environment for future generations, going green can also help you to live a healthier and more affordable lifestyle.

Unfortunately, there are times when we do not realize that there is an environmentally friendly way to do things. For example, we are often wasteful during the holidays – especially Thanksgiving. The following are a few tips to help you remain environmentally friendly during the Thanksgiving holiday:

* Purchase a Free Range Organic Turkey – Most people go for the more affordable option when it comes to buying the main course. However, you may want to consider paying a few extra dollars for a free-range turkey. The difference? A free-range turkey has been treated humanely as opposed to being bred in cages for the sole purpose of consumption. Not to mention that unlike most turkeys sold during Thanksgiving, free-range organic turkeys have not been pumped full of antibiotics and hormones.

* Purchase Organic Vegetables – There are a few ways that you can go about obtaining organic vegetables for your Thanksgiving Day feast. You can grow them yourself, which will take far more planning ahead of time, or you can go to a local farmer’s market to pick them up. What are the benefits to purchasing organic vegetables? First of all, they are grown without the use of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Not only do these affect the environment, they affect the taste as well. Secondly, by purchasing your organic vegetables from the farmer’s market, you will be supporting your local economy as well as organic farming instead of a large grocery store chain. As an added bonus, organic locally grown vegetables tend to be more affordable as well!

* Choose Recyclable Options – If you are hosting a particularly large Thanksgiving Day feast, then make sure that whenever you buy pre-packaged food products, that they come in packaging that is recyclable. Be sure to bring your own grocery bags when shopping as well in order to avoid coming home with a dozen plastic bags.

* Create Compost – People eat a lot on Thanksgiving. And more often than not, they go in for seconds and thirds – piling food sky high onto their plates each time. This usually means that by the time they are full, they will still have a lot of food on their plates. Instead of throwing it all away, create a compost bin. This is a great way to recycle food waste (just don’t throw meat in there). Compost can then be used to improve the soil in your garden.

* Use Environmentally Friendly Decorations – You’ll probably want to create some decorations for your dinner table. Go to local thrift stores such as Goodwill and pick up a centerpiece for your table. Buying used items is in essence recycling. You can also make your own eco friendly decorations by using construction paper, which can be recycled, or baker’s clay along with non-toxic paints or food coloring.

These are just a few ways that you can host Thanksgiving Day dinner at your home while still remaining conscious of the environment.

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