1. Watch out for mass-farmed turkeys that are abundant in local grocery stores. Just because a label says the turkey is “all natural” or has “no artificial hormones,” it doesn’t mean the turkey was not produced on a factory farm. So research the major brands of turkey and find one whose farming practices you’re comfortable with before making your purchase.
2. Organic, free-range turkeys are an eco-conscious option. Again, read the label and don’t hesitate to contact the farmer or company that produced the turkey. The phrase “pasture-raised” or “pastured” means the turkey was raised on pastureland, which is an eco-friendly option. The best choice would be a turkey from a small, local farm.
3. Consider having a meatless or vegetarian holiday this year. There are tofu “roasts” that you can slice and serve to your family, or simply make a vegetarian meal. To take up the space normally occupied by the turkey, make pumpkin soup and serve it inside a big pumpkin shell. Or make a colorful pasta or a vegetarian loaf of grains and beans. For more on tofu and tofu roasts visit our Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes Tofu Recipes How to Cook Tofu Roast HERE.
4. Eat seasonal, local foods that are organic. What foods are in season will depend somewhat on your area. Foods generally in season in late November include:
* Sweet potatoes
* Squash (winter squash such as butternut or acorn)
5. Use cloth napkins at your dinner table. You can make them yourself, or buy them from antique or second-hand stores.
6. Eliminate the use of the disposables at the table. Make sure that you are using reusable flatware, tablecloths, cups, glasses, and napkins.
7. Stay away from any types of plastic decorations. It’s so easy to collect all kinds of plastic or mass-produced decorations for your house, but it’s not very environmentally friendly. Make your own decorations from eco-friendly materials. Using items from nature (pine cones, acorns, branches or twigs, colorful leaves, squash, pumpkins, berries, etc.) or recyclable materials from your own home are better eco-friendly options.
8. Pay attention to the thermostat in your home. Keep it no higher than 72 degrees. Build a fire if possible to create a wonderful atmosphere and keep warm.
9. Serve some raw vegetables and foods to conserve energy. You can go beyond just a cold veggie tray. There are lots of interesting raw food dishes, from pasta to salads and desserts.
10. Stay home if possible, and celebrate Thanksgiving without any excessive travel. If you do have to travel, make sure that your tires are inflated properly, and you drive in an eco-friendly way. If you find that you do need to fly, try purchasing carbon offsets, or you can take public transportation to work for a week, even though the plane would fly with or without you.
We hope that Original Thanksgiving Meal Have an Eco-Conscious Thanksgiving Dinner What to Look Out For helps you to have a more environmentally friendly holiday this season that you can all enjoy, be proud of, and remember for many years to come!