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Planning your Thanksgiving so that you avoid as much unnecessary food waste as possible is very doable. The truth is, we never need as much as we think we do when it comes to anything we have. Most people throw out about 30 percent of the food they buy, for example. This Thanksgiving, let’s prevent that.

Provide Eco-Friendly To-Go Containers

You can also ask guests to bring containers if you want to, but if you purchase some eco-friendly containers and point out to guests what they are, it puts sustainability into their mind. Once people start thinking about things differently, it’s the seed that will begin their evolution too.

Freeze Leftovers Right Away

One way to deal with waste is not to trust yourself that you’ll eat the food later. Instead, set up everything so that you can get the food from the table to the freezer fast. That way it’s put up, and you can give it some thought about how you’ll reuse and repurpose the leftovers.

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Practice Sound Meal Planning with No Waste in Mind

You can avoid waste from the start if you practice meal planning. Check what’s available in your area and then plan your meal around that. Plus, plan the meal knowing who is coming, what they like to eat, and how much.

Create Something New from Leftovers

When you are planning the meal, it might be useful to look at how you can use things you think will be left over. For example, leftover mashed potatoes make delicious savory potato pancakes, and leftover turkey and various sides can be turned into soup.

Compost Your Food Scraps

Set up a compost bin for everyone to scrape their food scraps into. Even if you don’t have a place to compost this, you can donate compost that you make to local farmers and other growers. You can also put the finished compost outside anywhere you want.

Try to Use What You Have without Buying Too Much

It’s exciting to host Thanksgiving. Understandably, you want everyone to have a good time and eat well. But you don’t have to buy too much to accomplish this. Most people don’t binge eat on Thanksgiving, so you don’t have to cook triple servings. And if your dishes don’t match, no one cares. No need for new ones.

Don’t Make Things People Don’t Eat

Think back to past holidays. What was left over? What did people not touch? Did anyone really eat that Jell-O mold casserole? If it’s a tradition to make something but no one likes it, is it worth it? How many times do you really need to make a fruitcake no one likes?

Consider Making Proper Serving Sizes

One thing you might consider during your meal planning time is to make everything in serving sizes based on your guest list. Real servings are much smaller than people think and yet it’s usually still enough to feed everyone. Plus, if you do run out, there are other things to eat.

When you are considering purchasing anything or making something, always think it through all the way. Think about what you buy, how that adds to your carbon footprint, and how you will dispose of it later. If you’re not sure how to dispose of it, maybe you don’t need it. By just thinking through each purchase or dish that you make, you can easily avoid unnecessary waste at Thanksgiving.

waste less food