With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, many of you are planning your menus, cleaning the house for guests, and adding the extra leaf to the table to accommodate everyone. But as with every holiday, Thanksgiving could stand to go a little greener for the sake of your health and the environment. Here are some tips for how to host a Thanksgiving celebration that is healthy, eco-friendly, and sustainable.
Shop for Organic and Local Foods
By shopping for locally grown foods for your Thanksgiving meal, you reduce your carbon footprint because those foods didn’t have to travel across the world to reach your plate. It’s also smart to buy organic fruits, vegetables, and meats to serve your Thanksgiving guests so that you aren’t unnecessarily exposing them to pesticides, herbicides, and other potentially harmful chemicals.
Set Out Cloth Napkins
One way to reduce landfill waste at your Thanksgiving table is to eliminate paper napkins. Instead, lay out reusable cloth napkins that you can wash later without much hassle at all. Despite the temptation make the task of doing dishes easier, avoid paper plates and plastic utensils or at least choose compostable throw-away options that are made from recycled materials.
Use Natural and Reusable Decorations
Although Thanksgiving decorations typically pale in comparison to other holidays, like Halloween and Christmas, many people still buy cheap paper and plastic turkey and pumpkin décor that ends up in the trash at the end of the day. To curb your waste and save money, decorate your home for Thanksgiving with natural materials, like real pumpkins, gourds, gathered pinecones, and dried leaves. Alternatively, invest in commercial Thanksgiving decorations that are built to last and that you’ll use for many years.
Carpool to Your Destination
Thanksgiving weekend is always one of the biggest travel days of the year in America, which leads to increased carbon emissions and air pollution. If your family doesn’t live nearby, plan to carpool or take a bus or train to reach your Thanksgiving destination, if possible. Every little bit helps in reducing your carbon footprint around the busy holiday season.
Reduce Food Waste
Traditional Thanksgiving meals often feature lots of excess food that gets tossed into the trash at the end of the weekend. To reduce waste, get an accurate head count of who will be attending your celebration and carefully assess how many portions you’ll really need on the big day. You can use smaller plates to help your guests eat more reasonable portions and reduce their personal waste at mealtime too. For any food that remains, make the best possible use of your leftovers by freezing as much as you can for later use or donating it to a homeless shelter.
Compost Your Waste Scraps
When your Thanksgiving meals is over and you’re left with the hefty task of kitchen cleanup, remember the benefits of composting. Kitchen scraps that are compostable include fruit cores, vegetable skins, coffee grounds, and wilting leafy greens. Learn more about the benefits of composting and how to do it on our Seagate blog.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Once all the scraps and dishes have been cleared away and your guests have gone home, it’s time to clean your home again and wipe the germs off of shared surfaces. Seagate’s Olive Leaf Surface Cleaner offers an all-natural approach to post-holiday cleanup without any chemicals or harmful ingredients. Use it on your countertops, appliances, tables, chairs, and in the guest bathroom after hosting your festive celebration.