As many of us turn our thoughts to gatherings of family and friends to celebrate the season, now is a great time to make sure your celebration is as light on the planet as possible. Here are our favorite tips:
- Take stock. Literally. Before you run out to the grocery store with your list in hand, shop in your own cupboards first. There are often treasures hidden on the shelves in our homes. It’s a good time to make Grandma’s cranberry sauce recipe with that extra bag of cranberries you froze last year. In addition to helping the planet, you’ll save money too.
- Local rules. The original Thanksgiving was literally a celebration of local bounty: beautiful corn harvested nearby, wild turkeys from local fields. Check out these delicious and creative Thanksgiving menus for multiple regions in North America that feature ingredients all sourced within 100 miles.
- Offset it. Whether you’re driving an hour to Aunt Millie’s or crossing an ocean to be with loved ones, you can offset the carbon your travel generates. Terrapass has a simple calculator you can use to find out just how many pounds of CO2 your trip contributes to the atmosphere. Once armed with this data, you can purchase offsets that support verified renewable energy and forestry projects.
- Get Creative. If you’re planning a big dinner, consider centerpieces, name tags or placemats that are hand-made. Real pumpkins, gourds and leaves from the yard make a festive centerpiece that will biodegrade, not contribute to overflowing landfills. Involve kids in creating nametags for your holiday table that are trimmed with acorns, twigs or fabric scraps.
- Remember gratitude. Before the commercialism of the “holidays” moves into full swing, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect on what really matters in your life. Maybe you are grateful for your health, the support of a dear friend, or the work you are able to do. Whatever fills your heart your gratitude, be sure to take some time this season to really acknowledge how blessed you are in this life.