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Published on November 26th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans


Tips for a Sustainable Thanksgiving Holiday

Holidays can be hectic, especially if you’re the one hosting!  It’s so easy to get caught up and carried away by the buzz of festivities, and sustainable choices often take a back burner to more convenient solutions.

Here are a few simple reminders to keep your Thanksgiving celebration “in the green” . . .

The Meal

Select the very best—choose organic produce, wine, and baked goods—for your special holiday meal.  Buy local at a neighborhood farmers’ market (search the USDA Farmers Market Guide) or a nearby farm stand (search Local Harvest).

If you’re opting for a dinner that includes meat, run an Advanced Search on the Eat Well Guide to enter criteria for product (type of meat), production methods, and location for pick-up.  The Production Methods section allows you a large amount of control over the sustainability of the entire process, as you can select terms including: 100% vegetarian fed, grass fed, free-range/roaming, cage free, non-confined, no antibiotics, organic, etc.

Don’t forget to compost your veggie scraps or reuse them in a soup base.  Although meat and bones can’t be composted, they do make wonderful soup stock as well.

The Table

Nature always decorates best, especially this time of year as the trees shed leaves that dress your yard and neighborhood in a palette of bright colors.

  • For a natural centerpiece, collect an assortment of leaves and arrange them beneath a leftover pumpkin filled with bright flowers or a tower of seasonal fruit.
  • Decorate your table with beeswax candles rather than petroleum-derived paraffin candles.  The beeswax is not only healthier for you and the planet, it smells better too!

The Company

Whether you’re celebrating solo or with a house brimful of cheerfully chattering company, take a moment to pause.  After your meal, instead of turning on the television:

  • take a walk or a bicycle ride (if it’s not too cold outside!)
  • take a deep breath
  • take time to remember and appreciate the turning planet that sustains our lives, and all life

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