Thanksgiving is a day when we can spend time with our families, eat good food, and give thanks for all the many blessings we enjoy.  We can also remember to take care of our planet on Thanksgiving by following a few simple tips.

Image Credit: timeanddate.com

A green Thanksgiving starts with…

Buying Local and Seasonal

Farmers Markets have exploded to nearly every part of the country in the past ten years. That means you have no excuse, support your local farmers and keep your money in the local economy. Since organic produce often costs more, buy organic for produce that is known to have more pesticide residue. According to the Environmental Working Group list of dirty dozen for 2011, apples have the most pesticide residue followed by celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, and kale. Make sure you get those items in organic and check out their list for other produce items that have very low pesticide residue. Organic turkeys can also be found locally.

Having A Potluck Thanksgiving

Having a potluck for Thanksgiving saves the host from bearing the full financial cost of dinner without compromising the amount of food to share with everyone. Pulling resources together is great way to involve everyone attending Thanksgiving dinner and also makes for great conversation topics with the whole group.

Planning For Leftovers

After a large family gathering for your fancy green Thanksgiving dinner you’ll probably end taking home a ton of leftovers. But chances are you are going to get sick of eating turkey sandwiches, and before you know it you’ll have wasted food that needs to be thrown away. Plan ahead for unique and different recipes that you can use that leftover turkey for, an example would be turkey soup. Letting food go to waste is crying shame, so be sure to plan ahead.

Maintaining Your Green Cleaning Practices

Make sure that you stay true to your green Thanksgiving even after everyone has long gone from your home and you are stuck with cleaning up all the mess. Be sure to fill that dish washer to the rim before starting it. Dish washers are very efficient at cleaning a full load of dishes when compared to washing by hand. Before tossing dishes into the dish washer, grab a fork and scrape excess food off those plates rather than running water to pre-rinse. You should also avoid using the drying function on the dish washer, instead let them air dry for maximum energy efficiency.

Cooking or Preparing Less Food

Most people cook or bake up a storm in the kitchen and way over-do the Thanksgiving thing. In the spirit of attempting your first official green Thanksgiving this year, try to tamper it down a little with the old adage ‘less is more.’ As mentioned before, Americans waste about 25 percent of prepared food on Thanksgiving every year. Think about how much money that could be in savings when you consider the total cost of providing a large gathering a giant feast.

Above all, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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