With Thanksgiving only two days away, we wanted to post this story about Greening your Thanksgiving by Sierra Club’s Cara Longpre.
Traditional Thanksgiving meals tend to favor fall produce, so it’s a great time to focus on locally grown fruits and veggies. Consider adapting time-honored recipes to reflect your region’s growing season and history. For a fun challenge, plan either one dish or the entire meal with ingredients grown or produced within 100 miles of your home. Check out the Daily Green’s 100-mile Thanksgiving meal plans for five different U.S. cities to find examples of creative, local solutions.
Tip #2: Buy a Heritage Bird or Go Meatless
Want to celebrate “Turkey Day” without supporting environmentally destructive factory farms? You can help preserve species diversity by purchasing a free-range heritage turkey from a local farm. If meat isn’t a must-have, consider skipping the bird altogether and building a hearty meal around vegetarian dishes such as autumn tempeh salad or butternut squash enchiladas.
Tip #3: Appreciate the Natural World
Thanksgiving traditions vary, but most celebrations include some form of appreciation for the year’s blessings. When expressing gratitude, take note of nature’s gifts. You may feel thankful for a beautiful sunrise, a bountiful harvest, clean water, or colorful autumn leaves. By nurturing your connection with the planet, you will energize your environmental activism.
Tip #4: Streamline Your Meal
Most people expect to be well fed on Thanksgiving, but you can reduce waste by considering portion size and guests’ personal tastes. If no one actually likes mincemeat pie, don’t make it just to satisfy tradition. Fill the bigger platters with local vegetables and serve more carbon-intensive food in a small dish with a small spoon to encourage dainty portions. Keep waste out of the landfill by sending leftovers home with guests and composting food scraps.