As we approach the season of gratitude and abundance, let's take a moment to consider how we can make our Thanksgiving celebrations more sustainable. Small changes in our traditions can have a big impact on the environment. Here are some tips and recommendations for a more sustainable Thanksgiving:
- Choose Locally Sourced Ingredients: Support local farmers and reduce the carbon footprint of your meal by selecting ingredients that are grown or produced locally. We love Local Harvest. Over half of their products come from within 150 miles of St. Louis.
- Opt for Organic and Seasonal Produce: Use organic produce and prioritize seasonal vegetables and fruits to reduce the energy and resources required for their production. Shop winter squash like pumpkin, butternut, kabocha, acorn, and delicata or root vegetables like turnips, beets, and parsnips. Don’t forget your greens, kale, chard, cabbage and brussel sprouts are also in season during November. Visit Simply Recipes for a full November produce and recipe guide.
- Reduce Food Waste: Plan your menu carefully and only prepare what you need. Encourage guests to bring reusable containers to take home leftovers, and compost food scraps whenever possible. Might we recommend some of our favorites? Check out our Mega Stasher Stand-up Bag or Mini Stand-up Bag for storing leftovers, Linen Bowl Covers, Bowl Hugger Lids, or Beeswax Wrap.
- Use Sustainable Tableware: Instead of disposable plates and cutlery, use reusable or biodegradable options like bamboo or compostable dinnerware. Even Target has an option for you, take a look at Everspring.
- Go Meatless or Choose Sustainable Meats: Consider incorporating more plant-based dishes into your menu or opt for sustainably sourced, organic, or free-range meats. Did you know that Hungry Planet is right here in St. Louis? They have developed a complete range of plant-based meats: Hungry Planet® Chicken, Beef, Pork, Italian Sausage, Chorizo and Crab, enabling you to make an easy plant-based swap in any recipe! If you’re looking for a sustainable meat option, we highly recommend Bolyard’s Meats & Provisions - a whole animal butcher.
- Save Energy: Use energy-efficient cooking methods like using the oven and stovetop concurrently, and try to use glass or ceramic dishes, which retain heat better than metal ones.
- Decorate Mindfully: Use natural, compostable decorations such as seasonal flowers, potted plants, and gourds. Avoid plastic and other non-recyclable materials.
- Encourage Green Transportation: If guests are coming from nearby, encourage carpooling or offer alternative transportation options to reduce the carbon footprint of travel.
- Give Back to the Community: Consider donating to local food banks or charities that help those in need during the holiday season. Visit Feeding America for volunteer opportunities or tips for hosting a food drive.
- Spread Awareness: Share your sustainable Thanksgiving journey with others to inspire them to make eco-friendly choices during their celebrations.
Let's make this Thanksgiving not only a time of gratitude and togetherness but also an opportunity to show gratitude to our planet. 🌍
Wishing you a happy and sustainable Thanksgiving! 🍁