Tips for Greening Your Thanksgiving

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Image by Stu Smith / Creative Commons

Thanksgiving is upon us. While some consider the day as a holiday to take time off work, enjoy a hearty meal, and spend time with family, Thanksgiving can and does mean so much more. With the state of the world, and the environment in the condition it is currently in, why don’t you take a little time and green up your day. Here are a few tips for greening your Thanksgiving:

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1) Opt for fresh food and avoid the canned goods. BPA is found in the lining of many canned products. Why put you and your family at risk of BPA exposure, when you can have better tasting and healthier food by going fresh? Let’s face it, BPA is an uninvited Thanksgiving guest.

2) Cut down on food waste by making less food in the first place. I know there are a lot of people who dream of tables filled with turkey, rolls, stuffing, yams, cranberry sauce, gravy, salad, and other foods, when they think of Thanksgiving. But take a moment and think about how the table traditionally looks AFTER the big meal. Is there a lot of food left over? If you actually need all that food, then fine, but the key is not letting any of it go to waste (or is that not letting it go to your waist). Either way, take a look at some of these facts on food waste if you need help cutting down.

3) Give up the traditional holiday candles, that are commonly known to cause indoor air pollution, and opt for more environmentally-friendly candles. If you want to use candles to add to your holiday atmosphere, that is fine, but it is safer to use beeswax or soy candles. Indoor air pollution is a problem most people are unaware of or ignore. Learn more about indoor air pollution and candles before you add candles to your holiday decor.

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4) Remember to air out your home the natural way. Over the holidays, homes can get stuffy and dry. Opening the windows and letting some fresh air in will help let the indoor air pollution out. Don’t forget to also turn your thermostat down. There is no reason to pay to heat your home when your guests will generate additional warmth. Natural heat/air is better for the environment anyway.

5) For those of you who like to drink a little wine during the holidays, check out some of these inexpensive, eco-friendly wines for Thanksgiving.

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6) Take steps to reduce, reuse, and recycle over Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. According to the EPA, the volume of U.S. household waste increases by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Here are some tips to help you recycle, reduce and reuse.

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I hope that each of you will be able to incorporate at least one, or more, of the above tips during the holidays. They are simple things designed to help you green your Thanksgiving and your life. Then keep in mind, there are so many people and things to be thankful for in this world. Let each of us do our part to show our gratitude through our actions, not just words.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

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