The way in which a lot of families celebrate Thanksgiving is anything but sustainable. We make more food than anyone can eat, put it on paper plates, drink out of plastic cups, and throw it all away when we’re done. I would like to share with you some ways in which we can cut down on all the waste, for a more sustainable Thanksgiving.
Using as many local, organic and seasonal foods and beverages as possible helps reduce the effects of transporting goods long distances and boosts the local economy. Here at the Co-op, all of our local products are marked with either a yellow local tag (in produce) or green L tag (on the shelves). We have several local wines, lots of organic produce, and there are local goods throughout the store.
Do not use any disposable dining ware. To me, there is nothing worse than preparing a wonderful feast just to serve it on paper plates. When you are having one of the most extravagant meals of the year, why not use real dishes? Plus there is a whole team of people to help with cleanup. If you don’t have enough real dishware there are several options. You could have one of your guests bring some extra from their house, or have a BYOP (bring your own plate) Thanksgiving! Another option is to go to your local thrift store and purchase the extra dishware you need. After you are done, you may donate it back or store it until the next time you need it.
Most of us start planning what we want to do with all of those Thanksgiving leftovers before we even start cooking. The trouble we run into is what to store them in. Plastic containers and plastic baggies are not only bad for the environment but harmful chemicals from these products also leach into our food. One great solution is mason jars. You can even buy them by the case here at the Co-op and save 10%. This way you can send your guests home with leftovers in a container that they can reuse for years to come.
The most rewarding part of working towards a sustainable holiday is sharing it with family and friends. Informing those closest to you the ingredients and methods you chose and why is part of educating the world towards sustainability. After all, we’re all in this together!
- Erica, Front End