12 Steps to A Sustainable, Green Thanksgiving
A Green Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, by far. With exceptions only in edibles, it's a holiday virtually void of commercialism and consumerism. It's a day based on generosity, thankfulness, connection and loving what is. There is nothing more superb than sitting around a table with those you love, taking turns describing what you're thankful for and sharing the good in our lives.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Because of the simplicity of Thanksgiving, it's probably one of the easiest holidays to "green" up. Here are a few tips to keep your conscious clean with a Green Thanksgiving, and keep you focused on the joy of the day:
- Opt for an organic, local and free-range meal.
Locally grown pumpkins, organic cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing...Mmmm. Heritage turkeys are also a great, sustainable way to go although some require ordering in advance. Try LocalHarvest.org for options and use their zip code finder to find the most local Tom available, and be sure to learn some techniques to keep it affordable.
- Choose an alternative invitation.
If sending out invitations, do so through email when possible with services like Evite.com.
- Opt for reusable decorations.
Or try decorations made from food or natural materials that can be composted afterwards.
- Shoot for leaving as little trash as possible.
Cloth napkins, the good china, etc. Pool these resources from several households for large gatherings.
- Setup up your recycling bins near your trash can to encourage recycling.
You may need to check periodically that things are going in the right bins.
- Do not buy individual drinks, such as bottled water or canned beverages.
Homebrew tea, or purchase beverages in bulk packaging, such as gallon jugs. Set up beverages in attractive pitchers next to an ice bucket to add to the charm.
- Organize transportation.
Suggest carpooling to and from dinner or bus routes for urban commuters.
- Compost when possible.
Non-edible table scraps, pumpkin rinds, potato peelings, corn husks, etc can all go in the compost pile instead of the trash can.
- Before and after cleaning/cleanup?
Use only non-toxic and earth-friendly products to clean up after family and friends have left.
- Combine the laundry.
Save those cloth napkins and tablecloths (mentioned above) to add to a regular load, avoiding additional machine washes.
- Donate your time with a local shelter feeding the homeless.
It may just impact your life in such a way that this becomes a regular practice for you and your family.
- Enjoy the time, connection and love between family and friends.
Take turns sharing what you're thankful for, enjoy each other, make music or just talk and laugh. These ARE the good ol' days and enjoying them is the most important thing we can sustain.