As you plan for your annual Thanksgiving gathering there are many steps you can take to reduce waste, save money and give thanks to the planet at the same time.
The Invitation. Go paperless! Consider sending an email invitation or using “Evite” to personalize the party details for your Thanksgiving guests.
Natural Decorations. Bring fall inside and decorate with leaves from local parks or evergreen boughs from your yard. Squash and other produce from farmers markets make for great place card holders and centerpieces. If you are looking for a little light, local beeswax candles or reusable, battery-powered tea-light candles can brighten up the holiday table.
Harvest Locally. Winter squash, apples, pears, Brussels sprouts, beets, beans, carrots, celery, greens and sustainably raised turkeys are making their debut right now at local farmers markets. By supporting local farms, you can help reduce packaging and fuel used to transport food from across the U.S. and around the world.
Setting the Table. Before stocking up on single-use plates and cups, save money by using reusable and washable plates, cups, silverware, napkins, table clothes and serving dishes. If you are looking to save even more money, purchase gently-used durable serviceware at local second-hand retailers.
Reduce Packaging. For anything left on the shopping list, consider buying in bulk, or purchase items with the least amount of packaging. And when you shop, don’t forget your reusable shopping bags.
Ready, Set, Sort! Encourage your guests to pitch in. Set out and clearly mark your recycling bins, and if you have food and yard waste collection service, help guests keep food waste out of the garbage by setting up a collection container for post-meal food scraps.
Recycle Cooking Oil. Whether you bake or fry, the cooking oil and drippings left after the holiday meal can be donated locally and turned into biofuel. Click here for drop-off locations.
Resources: SEATTLE FARMERS MARKETS | TURKEY FARMS: GROWING THINGS, STOKESBERRY SUSTAINABLE FARMS, SKAGIT RIVER RANCH | GENERAL BIODIESEL | PUGET SOUND FRESH | SEATTLE TILTH "2009-10 PRODUCERS DIRECTORY" | WASHINGTON FARMERS MARKETS | SEVEN SPIRITS BEEZWAX CANDLES | GOODS FOR THE PLANET | LONG LIFE BEESWAX CANDLES