Next to Christmas, Thanksgiving holds a special place in the hearts of many. It's a joyous time of the year when people gather with their loved ones, eagerly anticipating a feast of delicious food and expressing gratitude for all of life's blessings. From the aroma of a delicious turkey roasting in the oven to the sound of laughter and cheerful conversations, each moment of Thanksgiving is filled with warmth and love.
However, the holiday season, between Thanksgiving and New Year's is also a time of excessive waste production. Studies show that Americans produce 25% more waste during this period than at any other time of the year (that's 1 million extra tons of trash!).
In this blog post, we'll delve into the most commonly used holiday items and recommend eco-friendly alternatives that you can use instead. Let's talk about your next eco-friendly Thanksgiving!
Instead of: Plastic or single-use baubles, ornaments, and decorations.
Try This: Natural materials like dried leaves, pinecones, or potted plants provide a beautiful and compostable alternative to plastic decor. You can also engage your family in crafting DIY garlands from recycled materials to add a unique touch to your holiday decor.
Instead of: Wax candles for ambiance.
Try This: LED candles, which are flameless, reusable, and safer. They create a warm atmosphere without the environmental impact of traditional wax candles.
Instead of: Disposable plates and cutlery made from plastic or paper
Try This: Reusable dinnerware options such as bamboo, stainless steel, or glass. Bamboo is an excellent option as it is lightweight, durable, and biodegradable. Stainless steel is a long-lasting and hygienic choice, while glass adds a sophisticated touch.
Instead Of: Paper napkins often used once and then thrown away
Try This: Cloth napkins made from organic cotton or linen. These can be washed and reused and usually come with a variety of colors and patterns to choose from, so you're sure to find a set of cloth napkins that complement your personal style.
Instead of: Disposable plastic cups for beverages.
Try This: Reusable glass or stainless steel beverage containers. You can also encourage guests to bring their own reusable water bottles to minimize the need for disposable ones. When cleaning, these items are easy to maintain and can be simply thrown in the dishwasher after use.
Instead of: Traditional disposable tableware made from plastic or paper.
Try This: Compostable tableware crafted from materials like sugarcane or bamboo, which are biodegradable and break down naturally. You can also use your glass tableware, which adds an elegant touch to your table setting and can be reused multiple times.
Instead of: Plastic wrap used for storing leftovers.
Try This: Beeswax wraps as a reusable and washable option, promoting sustainability in your kitchen practices.
Instead of: Single-use plastic bags for shopping
Try This: Reusable shopping bags made from durable and eco-friendly materials like jute or organic cotton.
Instead of: Individually packaged items
Try This: Buying in bulk to reduce packaging waste. Purchase pantry staples, snacks, and other non-perishables in larger quantities and store them in reusable containers.
Instead of: Traditional supermarkets with excessive packaging and questionable environmental practices
Instead of: Mass-produced greeting cards made of paper.
Instead of: Single-use traditional wrapping paper for gifts
Try This: Reusable alternatives like fabric gift wrap or furoshiki. These options can be used repeatedly and are stylish and sustainable way to present your thoughtful gifts.
Instead of: Physical items
With these tips and ideas, you can now host a Thanksgiving feast that brings joy to your loved ones and reflects your commitment to a greener and more sustainable lifestyle. Happy Thanksgiving!