When you are concerned about the environment, it makes each holiday celebration slightly different from what you may recall from your youth. Thankfully, there is so much you can do that is not just eco-friendly but also healthy and (don’t forget) delicious. Your family and guests won’t even realize that they’re also saving the environment.
- Buy Local
One of the most important things you can do for the environment and your health is to shop locally whenever you can. That means buying produce that was grown in your local area. Most grocery stores today do have local produce; just read the signs. If you’re not sure, ask someone. Even Walmart offers local produce in many areas.
- Buy in Season
Obviously, if you are buying locally, you’ll be buying in-season produce and food. The reason you want to buy in season is that they must use fewer outside means to help the plants to grow than otherwise. The flavor can’t be beaten, and you’re also helping your local community and the environment by doing as much as is possible where you live.
- Skip the Processed Food
Processed food like white sugar, flour, and other ingredients aren’t usually going to be made locally (unless you have a factory there) and they may not be healthy or environmentally friendly depending on how they’re processed.
- Shop the Outer Isles
When you go to any store, if you look for something yummy in the outside isles it’s more likely to be fresh and not processed. This is the best way to find your ingredients for your dessert. Think berries and cream, or a cobbler with oat crumble or chocolate-covered apples.
- Find Local Organizations
Some communities have organizations that distribute local produce that would otherwise be thrown away because it’s unattractive. For example, in Tucson, Arizona, they have Borderlandsproducerescue.org which distributes with volunteers all the food that would otherwise be tossed out, and it’s very inexpensive. You get 60 pounds a week in Tucson, AZ for only 12 bucks with no subscription – just first come first serve.
- Try No-Cook Options
When you heat things, you are obviously using extra energy, and when you cook for Thanksgiving, you likely must cook not just that day but a week before the big day. If you can find some delicious no-cook options, you can cut down on the cooking and the energy used to cook.
- Start New Traditions
While Thanksgiving is all about traditions, you can also make your own. You don’t have to stick to traditions that you don’t want to do anymore. You can make it a new thing to be eco-friendly and think about your impact on the environment – even at Thanksgiving.
- Make It Homemade
Whatever you are cooking, if you can make it homemade, it’s going to be better for you and eco-friendlier automatically. If you think you cannot cook, consider again whether that’s true. If you use very simple recipes, you can do it.
The thing to remember about Thanksgiving is that it’s all about being thankful for what you have, helping others fill in the gaps of what they need, and doing your best to take care of your little section of the Earth.