6 top tips for a green Thanksgiving

Are you looking to give back to the planet this Thanksgiving? Luckily, with a few tips and tricks, you can make your Thanksgiving celebrations just as sustainable as any other day of the year! Here are 6 helpful tips for a green Thanksgiving.

In this blog:

Buy organic or go to a farmer’s market

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. But the traditional Thanksgiving feast can be a bit of an environmental disaster!

Switching to organic food or going to your local farmer’s market for your ingredients is a great way to enjoy a green Thanksgiving dinner. Conventional farming uses pesticides, chemicals and fertilizers that pollute the soil, water and air. Organic foods and ingredients from small local farms don’t use these harmful substances and produce healthier food.

Buying local ingredients also means that your food hasn’t traveled far. This means there’s less pollution from trucks and other means of transport and less packaging to preserve your food on its journey to you. If you want to ensure your Thanksgiving is as sustainable as possible, this is a great way of doing your part to reduce transport pollution.

Reduce food waste 

person prepping food for a green thanksgiving putting food waste in a bag

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to try something new, like reducing food waste. According to ReFED, Americans throw away 40% of their food yearly — that’s $218 billion worth of food!

The global food system is one of the biggest causes of climate change, producing approximately a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. If we all stopped wasting food, we could cut greenhouse gas emissions by around 8-10%, which would massively help our planet!

There are many ways you can reduce your food waste at home:

  • Plan your Thanksgiving meals out – make a list and don’t stray
  • Find out how many mouths you’ll be feeding
  • Freeze what you can’t eat or repurpose leftovers for a new meal
  • Compost inedible stuff like potato peels, egg shells and food that’s gone bad

Trying these simple tips will help you to have a successful green Thanksgiving!

Try reusable items

Disposable tableware and cutlery may be convenient, but they are also wasteful and bad for the environment. Not only do they end up in landfills where they can take hundreds of years to decompose, but they also require oil to make and transport them to stores and homes. 

To be more sustainable, use reusable dinnerware instead and get your guests to help with the clean-up afterward! Plus, who likes using dull plastic knives or paper plates that soak up gravy like a sponge?

If you can, avoid disposable tableware altogether to reduce the amount of waste created. If you’re unable to use real dishes and silverware, try purchasing biodegradable disposable plates and cutlery to keep your waste at a minimum.

Go meat-free

an array of vegetables

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to come together, but it’s also a time for us to think about our impact on the environment. Although Thanksgiving is traditionally associated with cooking massive turkeys, why not swap out our meat in exchange for plant-based alternatives for a green Thanksgiving?

The meat industry is the number one source of methane gas, a significant contributor to climate change. Plus, livestock requires lots of land and huge amounts of water and feed, which is also taking a toll on the environment.

Opt for little or no meat at all to play your part in making your Thanksgiving more sustainable. If you’re not ready to ditch the turkey completely, that’s ok! Another green Thanksgiving tip is to reduce the amount of meat used in your dinner – this can be by buying a smaller turkey or opting for more meat-free sides to fill your plates.

Choose transportation wisely

Thanksgiving is an especially great time to think about how you can keep the environment in mind while you’re celebrating. One way to keep to a green Thanksgiving this year is to think about your transportation.

If you need to travel to a family member’s house for Thanksgiving, try to carpool with other family and friends to reduce the amount of gas used. You could ditch the car and have a pleasant Thanksgiving stroll if you live close enough.

For those who can’t carpool or live too far away to walk, taking a bus can be much better for the environment than flying. While this might not be an option for everyone, if you can take a Greyhound bus rather than a plane, it will help the planet massively!

If there is no way to avoid taking your car on your travels, try to avoid peak times. Sitting in traffic not only wastes your time but also wastes your gas. Google has calculated the best and worst times to travel during Thanksgiving from major U.S cities, so you’ll be able to stay clear of peak times!

Change how we give gifts 

person holding out a gift for green thanksgiving

If you enjoy gift-giving during the Thanksgiving season, change up the types of gifts you give for a more sustainable choice.

When we give gifts, we often overload on wrapping paper, cards, and gift bags. We usually buy more presents than needed or order gifts online that are shipped from all over the world.

To be greener and more environmentally friendly, swap the sticky tape for ribbon to tie your wrapping together and use recyclable gift tags and cards. If you can, buy wrapping paper without glitter, foil or plastic and always recycle wrapping paper when done. 

Another way to change up your gift-giving to better the environment is to buy pre-owned gifts such as refurbished Tech, DVDs, Games and CDs. Not only will you save some money, but you’ll be promoting a circular economy and reducing landfill waste!

Here at Decluttr, we help create a circular economy by recycling, refurbishing and re-using items. Why not recycle your old Tech with us this Thanksgiving and help reduce e-waste?

Wondering ‘where’s the best place to sell my phone‘? Trade in your unwanted tech with Decluttr! You can sell iPad devices, sell MacBook models, sell iPhone handsets and sell Apple Watch models for cash!