giving greener thanks

Am I the only one wondering how it's actually almost time for Thanksgiving? Where has this year gone!?

Whether you're staying in and having a simple dinner, hosting a large gathering or traveling for Thanksgiving, there are many things you can do to make the holiday a little more eco-friendly.

Since food is the main part of most Thanksgiving celebrations, make sure you've got your bases covered. Shop locally for your meats and vegetables - from visiting a local grocery store to purchasing local products. Local products don't have to travel as far, saving on energy and gas costs. Local products also help keep the money local. If you're doing some vegetable side dishes, try to visit your farmer's market before the big day and stock up on as much as you can. And if you can't get what you need from a local company, look for organic products that were kinder to the environment during production. When you go shopping, take those reusable bags! (You know I'm always going to remind you of this, and you know you love me for doing so.)

If you're having a small dinner, skip disposable dinnerware and cutlery altogether, and just use what you have. If you're having a larger gathering and not enough place settings for everyone, look into getting sustainable dinner party supplies, such as the ones from Susty Party (which I wrote about more extensively here). Be sure to cover everything from plates and bowls, to cutlery and cups, to napkins.

Decorating the table, or, to use one of my least favorite words in existence, creating a tablescape? Do it greener! Look for organic table cloths and placemats, such as ones from Rawganique or BambEco. Put out soy or vegetable wax candles instead of traditional paraffin ones. Choose flowers or plants from a local nursery instead of ones from the grocery store.

And as you always should, be sure to recycle what can be recycled. Put out a clearly marked bin for guests to encourage them to recycle as well. If you're a composter, throw what food scraps you can into your bin. The less trash, the better!

If you're a guest at someone else's house, bring a local or organic bottle of wine for the hosts. Fetzer is one of my favorite wines, and it's partly due to their efforts in being a sustainable vineyard. You can also look for the Eco Glass label on many different bottles of wine. Eco Glass uses 25% less glass than traditional wine bottles, saving materials and shipping weight, which saves in fuel consumption for delivery trucks. 

Image: Eco Glass

If you're traveling, then take steps to make your travel greener. From making sure your vehicle's tires are properly inflated to taking an empty (per TSA's can fill them up after the security checkpoint) reusable water bottle on your plane trip, there are small things you can do to lessen your carbon footprint this Thanksgiving.

Here are a few linky-link resources on Eco-friendly Thanksgivings.
So now you've got a week and a half lead-time to get your Thanksgiving whipped into eco-friendly shape. AAAAAND....GO!!!

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