Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and we think that calls for some ideas on how to have an eco-conscious holiday! Whether you’ll be a host or a guest this year, you can help reduce your environmental impact for this feast

1. Reuse

Use reusable utensils, plates, and glasses for dinner instead of plastic dinnerware or remind each guest to cook in reusable bakeware if it’s a potluck. If you’re a guest, bring your own utensils and leftover containers to do your part!

2. Less meat, more veggies

In 2016, the U.S. wasted 172 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving – that’s a lot of carbon emissions! Encourage your family or host to get a Tofurky instead of a real turkey this year. If this doesn’t seem plausible, choose a smaller bird or encourage other guests to bring plant-based side dishes instead of various meats.

3. Less is more

As a host, let your guests know how many people will be attending so that they know how much food to prepare if it’s a potluck. During the dinner if possible, serve yourself on a smaller plate or start with one scoop of each dish instead of completely filling your plate. You can go back for seconds or be pleasantly surprised to feel full after a smaller serving size!

4. Embrace leftovers

Have everyone share their dishes’ leftovers so that each person has more than just what they prepared. Get creative with cooking leftover recipes, and remember to freeze or make soup out of leftovers. Challenge yourself to not waste any food!

5. Take part in Green Friday

Make an effort to reduce your carbon footprint by being a mindful consumer on Black Friday. If you plan on shopping, buy from local second-hand clothing stores, antique or thrift shops for low-impact products with a story behind them! Reconsider the practicality and necessity of your purchases, rather than the bargain you’re getting.

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