Thanksgiving is an exciting time of the year where family and friends all gather around a full table of fresh foods to share gratitude for things they are thankful for in their life. Let’s give thanks for the abundance our natural environment provides. Here are some tips to give back by reducing your impact.

  1. Use public transportation or carpool. If are planning to travel this Thanksgiving, make sure to use public transportation or carpool to minimize carbon emissions and be able to skip out on crazy holiday traffic.
  1. Incorporate environmentally friendly recipes. Substituting meat for fruits, vegetables, and grains can reduce carbon emissions associated with your food. You can try to go turkey-less this holiday a vegetarian substitute. Or, if you keep the turkey, try vegetarian and vegan sides at this link here.
  1. Shop local and in season foods. Having a fun outing with family and friends to the local farmer’s market to purchase local in season foods, limits the carbon emissions associated with the journey the food takes before it makes its way on your table.
  1. Store leftovers in reusable containers and cook only what you need. Rather than using single-use plastic bags, tin foil or plastic wrap, store food in reusable containers to help reduce waste generation. Also, make sure to cook only what you will be able to eat to minimize food waste.
  1. Turn down thermostat and lights off when gone. If you are traveling away from your home, make sure to turn down your thermostat, unplug phantom loads, and turn off the lights so your home is not consuming unnecessary energy.
  1. Compost Food Scraps You can put all of food scraps and other compostable material in your own homemade compost. There are lots of fun DIY composting ideas to try and composting food scrapes minimizes energy needed to process your waste.
  1. Make no-bake desserts. Having your oven on uses energy and creates emission. This year you can mitigate this by making no-bake desserts that don’t require the oven to be tasty. Here is just some recipes to try.
  1. Skip Black Friday shopping. Instead of rushing out with the crowds the following day, skip the crazy shopping fest and make homemade gifts this year or purchase handmade gifts from local artist.
  1. After Thanksgiving, make sure to use LED holiday lights. To save energy and reduce emissions, put up LED holiday lights instead of others. Also make sure to have the lights on a timer so that they are on only when they need to be.