Thanksgiving is a day to get together with family and give thanks. But every year, many Americans forget to show thanks to something very important to them: the planet. Follow these tips for a more sustainable Thanksgiving that our planet will thank you for.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
So your family is hosting Thanksgiving dinner. How can you be sustainable with your cooking? Plan your recipes so that they fit together. For example, if one recipe needs half an onion, find another recipe that could use the other half. Make sure you are only getting what you need and what you will use!
2. Less Turkey, More Sides
If you’re not ready to ditch the turkey just yet, try to make it a smaller part of the meal. Experiment with new and delicious sides that can fill your turkey void easily. Make fruit and vegetables the stars!
3. Buy Organic
Better for the planet, and delicious. Go to your local farmer’s market or choose foods in the grocery store that are organic.
4. Keep Your Traveling Footprint Down
Everyone wants to get together with friends and family for Thanksgiving. However, all the traveling that goes on during the holiday can really hurt the environment. Make sure to carpool, take public transportation, or reduce the places you go on Thanksgiving. If you live close enough, take a nice, autumn walk!
5. Make it a No-Waste Event
Doing the dishes can be annoying, but it’s way better than using wasteful plastic and paper products. Try to make your event no-waste by buying products with recyclable packaging, eating all your food, and using reusable products.
6. Donate to Food Pantries
Give thanks for your Thanksgiving by giving to those less fortunate. Donate nonperishable food items to a local food bank such as the Food Bank of Lincoln.
7. Listen to Your Stomach, Not Your Eyes
Many use Thanksgiving as a challenge to eat as much food as possible. If you stack your plate to record-breaking heights, make sure you can finish it all! Food waste is the largest element of landfills, so do your part to lessen the impact.
8. Save Scraps and Compost
If you do have leftover scraps, make a compost in your backyard! Composting is amazing for your soil and is a great way to deal with excess food waste.
9. Leftovers are Your Best Friend
So you made way too much food. Don’t despair! There are 1,000s of recipes online for ways to turn old Thanksgiving food into a fun, new meal. As hungry college students, I’m sure we can all find a way to finish off the leftovers.
10. Give Thanks for the Planet
Hurray! You had a sustainable Thanksgiving and helped your planet. Give thanks to Earth by continuing to live a sustainable life at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and beyond!