Making a Green Thanksgiving.

For most of us Thanksgiving means big, bountiful feasts and the beginning of an often overblown shopping season. But we can add more meaning when we take the environment into consideration and think outside the realm of typical traditions. Here are some new green Thanksgiving tips (and some oldies but goodies) to help you and your family reduce waste and make it a green Thanksgiving.

Green Thanksgiving Activities

  • Start a new green Thanksgiving tradition: plant a tree! Autumn is a great time to spruce up your backyard with some fresh tree saplings -- and with so many great reasons for planting trees, how can you resist?


Green Thanksgiving Feasts

  • Really plan ahead for that big meal... not just the menu items, but the quantities. Americans already waste a ton of food on a regular basis, and our household waste can really get out of control during the holiday season. You can reduce this by portioning your food supply based on anticipated guests. Write a list, stick to it, buy only what you need, and serve small(er) amounts. Then take a guess at how much food waste we produce at home on a regular basis -- check out our latest Green Quiz Challenge! Then check out our tips for reducing food waste every day.
  • Serve tap water instead of bottled water at your holiday feast. Filter it first: check out Food and Water Watch’s new Guide to Safe Tap Water.


Reduce Waste

  • Collect and wash empty glass and plastic food containers - these are great for storing leftovers and can be sent home with your guests. Think you might not have enough? Ask your family and friends to bring their own reusable containers, jars and tins.
  • Keep decorations simple. There’s really no need to go any further than your own backyard or farmers market for some festive holiday décor – autumn leaves and gourds make a great seasonal centerpiece. For more party prep ideas, check out our guide to hosting your own green holiday celebration.
  • Remember to compost any unwanted leftovers and food scraps and recycle all food packaging and beverage containers.
  • As always, skip the paper greeting cards. Check out these free eco-friendly options from World Wildlife Fund >
  • Finally, get ahead of the last-minute holiday hustle by planning to exchange gifts during Thanksgiving with friends and family you may not see in December. Not only will you save on postage, but thinking ahead could also prevent going overboard on boxes and packaging materials.