Thanksgiving is a time to give, what else, but thanks. It’s in the name. We are thankful for our families, friends, the food on the table, the clothes that we wear and the heat in our homes.
But it also should be a time to thank Mother Earth. She provided all of it, with her wondrous, mysterious ways.
For Thanksgiving, think green, to thank the Earth. But how can you do that? A few ways:
No. 1: Food!
This is the most important section of greening for Thanksgiving. You can do this in a variety of ways, all dependent on the size of your crowd for the day.
* Is it just non-meat eaters? Perfect! That is the best way to go green. Create dishes from the earth, using vegetable proteins to substitute meat. It doesn’t have to be that packaged Tofurky, but that’s a lot better than the real turkey (for greening purposes.) Visit Planet Green’s Web page for cooking ideas.
* You have meat-eaters? Get an organic and local turkey. Many farmer’s markets are selling a lot of meats during this time of year in preparation for winter, and turkeys should be abound. If not, go to your local grocery store and check the meat section. Ask the workers in charge of the meat section. Read every label and look for key words: “organic” and “farm raised,” to name a few.
* What about those sides? It is so easy to get them out of a box, but don’t do that! Go to your farmer’s markets and get all the supplies you need! Don’t be scared of the squash, whole pumpkin, different leafy greens and radishes. These are the real harvest bounty this time of year, so celebrate it!
Three key side dishes you can make-over include: cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and sweet potato souffle. Visit this Web page from Green Planet for recipes.
* Take the 100-mile green challenge from Tree Hugger. Visit their holidays Web site for more details, but it is what it says: Gather all your food within 100 miles of where you reside.
* Serve as much organic and local as possible, even the wine!
* Use scraps for compost!
No. 2: Your Home
* Don’t use those paper plates, no matter how bad you want to! Stop buying those disposable items and bring out the beautiful china! That is what it’s for, when you first bought it. Scared to let the little kiddies use it? Then, take out your everyday china for them, as to not have your set ruined by one smashed plate.
* Break out the good linens, including napkins! For this one and the one above, it’s clear that the reason we use disposable is to throw away the mess. However, doing so throws away millions of the Earth’s resources. A simple spin in the washer, the dishwasher or cleaning by hand never hurt anyone. And I bet that gorgeous tablecloth you bought on sale a few years ago, but “never got around to using” will be perfect.
* Clean house. Use non-toxic cleaning agents, either bought or made by yourself (second one preferred.) Make sure when you are
cleaning (and cooking), to stuff the appliances so you are getting the maximum benefit, and saving energy and time by needing another load to run.
Then, decorate! Buy organic, local flowers and use the decorations you already have instead of buying new ones. As far as candles, get non-toxic soy. And if you are dying for a set of orange lights, look for LED so you can save energy.
* Need sheets and towels for guests? But organic! Get quality, earth-friendly products for them to use, including the soap on the bathroom sink!
No. 3: Your car
* Not hosting? Well, carpool to the relatives! We wouldn’t want you Skyping on this holiday just to save gas, but pile everyone in and take one vehicle.
* Invite neighbors and friends, so they aren’t alone on the holidays. If someone isn’t traveling, for a variety of reasons, invite them over to enjoy the bounty.
One final fun activity:
* Adopt a turkey! Many people do this for the holiday, which preserves one turkey from being killed. It’s a wonderful idea. Read this Planet Green article on how to, and read how to celebrate the turkey, not eat it, here. (Did you know that turkeys are older than us, and can run faster than us?)
There are many sites about how to green your Thanksgiving, two with extensive resources are Planet Green and TreeHugger (scroll to the bottom.)The dinner table
Have a happy Thanksgiving, and remember to not eat too much tofu!