Last year, I blogged about having a sustainable Thanksgiving. Here are my top three tips for this year:
SAVE WATER by plugging up your sink while washing dishes, and pack that dishwasher full. You should be using real dishes in the first place, because using plastic/paper plates creates a lot of waste, so wash those oddly shaped dishes (hello, gravy boat) in the plugged sink. You won’t have to waste so much water and soap that way when you wash the next oddly-shaped dish. We also sometimes get into the habit of not stuffing our dishwashers. That’s what they’re for – to wash dishes – so full them up, within reason.
It may be too late for this, but DON’T TRAVEL AS FAR. Being that Thanksgiving is the biggest travel holiday of the year, you may all be on the way to relatives houses already as I write this. If you’re driving, carpool as much as possible. Instead of sitting around waiting for turkey, go on a walk with your family before/after dinner. These activities lessen carbon pollution into the atmosphere.
Finally, SAVE, SAVE, SAVE. This applies to food, mostly. According to NPR, Americans waste 33 million tons of food per year. Some people aren’t fond of leftovers, but next-day turkey sandwiches are some of the best left-overs there are! Instead of throwing away food, you can save it for yourself or compost what can be composted. Save decorations, too. Don’t throw away your child’s hand turkey – save it for next year to save money (and waste) on decorations. If you use a plastic table cloth for dinner, wash it in the washing machine – my mom always does (BUT DON’T DRY THEM, THAT WOULD BE HORRIBLE). You can use the table cloth for an outdoor party or painting extravaganza. Along the same lines, make sure you recycle all of the food containers (cans, plastic containers and boxes) you used to make your Thanksgiving feast!
Bottom line: save everything, or, at least try!