Thanksgiving is generally about three things: traditions, good food and family (in no particular order). But according to Recycle Works household waste increases by 25% from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day each year. That's why we've compiled some tips to make this year’s Thanksgiving as green as possible.
It can be tempting to cook extra food out of fear of not providing our guests with enough. But according to Use Less Stuff, 28 billion pounds of edible food is wasted every year. So before you head to the store, be mindful about how much food you actually need for your guests.
TIP: Try writing a shopping list – this can also help reduce the amount of impulse buys you make.
When (and if) you reach the point where you just can't eat any more, try offering any leftovers to your guests for them to take home. Also ensure that when you're preparing your great feast that you compost all of your vegetable peels, eggs shells and other food scraps. If composting isn't an option for you, try incorporating leftovers into brand new meals for the week. This way, waste is reduced and you'll save a couple of bucks too - just remember to store your leftover food correctly.
TIP: Try allowing your guests to self-serve. This could help to reduce the amount of unwanted food left on guests' plates.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Weirdly, Thanksgiving can be both the easiest and most difficult time to recycle. It's easier because the chance of recycling increases with more guests in your household. But more difficult trying to communicate your program with those who may not be familiar with recycling. We recommend keeping your recycling containers in clear view of your guests to encourage them to segregate any aluminum cans, wine bottles and other recyclable material. Don't forget to also place your general trash can nearby so that they can also toss everything else in there.
TIP: Place your recycling containers closer to your guests than the trash can. This can help to make recycling more convenient.
Skip The Disposables
We know that it seems so much easier to just grab a set of disposable plates and cutlery but the truth is that these are generally not an environmentally-friendly option. Did you know that 64 billion paper cups and plates were thrown away in a 12 month period in the US alone? With this in mind, we suggest celebrating in style and trying to use your "real silverware" if you can – it is Thanksgiving after all!