With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the beginning of the holiday season is here, and for many, that means food is on our minds, so we’ve got some tips for you and your loved ones about sustainable food options and proper composting. And while many of us are fortunate enough to have access to fresh and healthy seasonal foods, it’s important to think of our unhoused neighbors during this time of the year. If you’re in the OC, check out Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County for how to get volunteer information or make donations, or click here to locate your nearest local food bank.

  • Since animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined, we encourage you to have a meatless holiday (this only means more room for delicious side dishes!) In 2016, the U.S. wasted 172 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving – that’s a lot of carbon emissions that could’ve been prevented had we eaten less or no meat! However, if you or your family does plan on eating meat, find ways to repurpose the leftovers like making stock using the bones, since animal meat and grease cannot go into your compost.
  • Canned goods are often a staple during Thanksgiving, especially for pies. Be sure to rinse out the aluminum cans and put them in your recycling bin, not compost.
  • Paper products are not recommended for composting, especially if they have greasy food residue or wax coatings on them. Parchment paper, wax paper, and butcher paper are great to recycle if they’re free of food.

Before composting any leftover food or scraps, get creative with cooking leftover recipes, and remember that you can always freeze or make soup out of leftovers. We challenge you to not waste any food!

For more information, check out our Instagram @sustainchapman and subscribe to our Green Panther Newsletter here for composting updates. Happy Composting!