Give thanks - maple leaves and thanksgiving accents

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all others.” Marcus Tullius Cicero 

Ready to do some good for yourself and our planet? Let’s keep our holiday celebrations sustainable! We start now.

5 steps toward change this holiday season:

1. Stick to just turkey. While vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners are on the rise, many families will obviously still serve turkey as their main dish. Did you know that in 2012, it was estimated that 46 million turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving – and that was seven years ago! While turkey is not the worst meat in terms of carbon footprint, it makes an impact. So – go vegetarian this year or stick to JUST TURKEY. Do you really need ham and turkey? Our vote is “no” – we got this! 

2. Stay local and stay organic. Whenever you are planning a shopping trip, ask yourself – what on this list can be picked up at a local vendor AND can I get it organic and/or Free Trade? Whenever possible – buy local, organic and Free Trade. 

3. The cost of convenience – hoping to avoid the big holiday clean-up by providing plastic utensils, cups, or plates? Serving soda or other drinks that come in plastic bottles? These options might be convenient, but they’re not very eco-friendly. Use your own dishes, silverware, glasses, and buy beverages in glass bottles instead. 

4. Waste Not, Want Not. When preparing a dish, think it through: how much do you really need to make? Try the “less is more” approach whenever possible. And if you still end up with a ton of leftovers, don’t fret; send food home with every willing attendee (hostess tip to avoid disposable take home containers and bags – encourage guests to bring their own take home containers with them).  

5. Layer on the clothing! One sustainable holiday tip that gets overlooked – electricity use. If the weather is a bit chilly, dress in warm layers, wool socks, and comfy sweaters instead of cranking up the heat. Turn down some of the lights and utilize warm, ambient candlelight during dinner. Watching the football game? Once it has ended, switch off the TV and bring out a board game!