Your Greenest Thanksgiving Ever

14 tips for greening your Thanksgiving that save both the planet and money

Green Lifestyle
5 min read

From getting to grandma’s to the meal itself, we look at 14 tips for greening your Thanksgiving that save the planet, and save you money too. This Thanksgiving, we’re getting leaner and greener so you and Mother Nature will have a lot to be thankful for.

  1. The 50km Thanksgiving: From your free-range turkey to your organic veggies, buying locally-produced foods reduces the carbon footprint of your meal and helps support your local economy.
  2. Buy or borrow a roasting pan: The process of creating aluminum is one of the most pollution-heavy industrial processes. In the US alone, 46 million tinfoil pans find their way to the landfill every year. Baking a pie? Use a glass or metal pie dish instead of a disposable one.
  3. Get Real: The average American uses 6 napkins a day which puts an enormous strain on natural resources and landfills. Instead, get fancy and use your fabric napkins. Give disposable plates, knives and forks the boot in favour of the real thing.
  4. Decorate with what Mother Nature provides: Pinecones, fall leaves and decorative gourds are all better for the earth than plastic decorations.
  5. Turn the lights down low: Burn soy or beeswax candles as they aren’t petroleum-based and won’t leave a sooty residue. Dimming the lights creates a warm atmosphere and reduces your lighting costs.
  6. Mitigate food waste by cooking the right amount for each guest:
    • Turkey: 500 grams
    • Sweet potato: 100 grams
    • Green beans: 100 grams
    • Stuffing: 100 grams
    • Cranberry sauce: 3 tablespoons
    • Pumpkin pie: 1 slice (each pie sliced into eighths)
  7. Practice eco-friendly travel by carpooling with family members or taking public transport (that means you can have an extra glass of wine!)
  8. Fresh veggies are greener than canned: The canning industry utilizes 3 billion kWh of energy per year so opt for organic veggies instead.
  9. Leftover love: Ask guests to bring a plastic container or two and send some Thanksgiving leftovers home for them to eat. You reduce food waste and they get to enjoy your cooking for longer.
  10. Plan to use your oven in off-peak hours so that you save on energy. Cook several items in the oven at the same time rather than on the stove (three words; roast mashed potatoes!)
  11. Serve drinks from bottles rather than cans. Individual drinks use more materials so buy sodas, water and juice in large bottles.
  12. Don’t put hot food in the fridge; leave it to cool and save on energy.
  13. Turn your thermostat down: With all that Thanksgiving cooking and those extra bodies, your home can be a little cooler and no one will notice.
  14. Plan ahead so that you can combine shopping trips with your regular activities and save on gas.

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