As Thanksgiving approaches, we look forward to delicious meals with loved ones. Yet, this season also witnesses a sharp 25% increase in household waste, with food waste being a major contributor. This waste surge is especially concerning because food decomposition releases potent greenhouse gases, including methane. The good news is that we all have the power to change this trend. Let’s make this Thanksgiving more sustainable and reduce our environmental impact by curbing food waste.
When preparing your Thanksgiving feast, thoughtfully plan your menu, avoiding excessive dishes that lead to leftovers. Before heading to the grocery store, do a thorough inventory check of your pantry and refrigerator to identify ingredients you already have, reducing the need for additional purchases. Opt for recipes that efficiently utilize similar ingredients, making the most of what’s available.
Embrace sustainable shopping practices to lessen your Thanksgiving environmental footprint. Purchase locally and organically when possible, supporting your local community while reducing the carbon footprint of your meal. Don’t forget to bring reusable produce bags! Opt for homemade dishes whenever you can; they tend to be more environmentally friendly, generating less packaging waste and fewer emissions from production and transportation.
After the meal, focus on eco-friendly food storage solutions that keep leftovers fresh while reducing waste. Say no to disposable plastic containers and explore reusable, sustainable alternatives. Finally, make recycling and composting bins easily accessible for your guests to encourage proper waste disposal. By sorting recyclables and compostables from regular trash, you can significantly reduce the volume of waste sent to landfills, making a big impact this holiday season!
By Chelsea Hafer