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5 Easy Green Thanksgiving Tips

November marks the beginning of the holiday season, starting off with Thanksgiving. What resembles big family dinners, lots of gift shopping, and seasonal decorations, actually results in an increase of household waste by more than 25%. But we have good news for you… You can easily introduce these 5 eco-friendly changes to your Thanksgiving and decrease the waste you generate – as well as the burden on your wallet!

  1. Food. When you’re shopping for your holiday meals, think two words: organic and local. Not only are they better for the environment, but they are also typically healthier and fresher, making for a tastier and more nutritious meal. Buying local strengthens the Cape Cod economy. Check out Wellfleet Preservation Hall’s Annual Harvest Market on November 19 for some good holiday dinner finds!
  2. Calculate. At least 28 billion pounds of food is wasted each year – more than 100 pounds per person. The best way to reduce your waste this holiday is to NOT over-buy. Plan ahead and check out this list of approximate food and drink portions per person: 1 pound of turkey, 1/4 pound of stuffing, 1/4 pound of green beans, 1/4 pound of potatoes… and a partridge in a pear tree 😉 Check out this easy Thanksgiving Food Planning Calculator to help with your portion planning!
  3. Get crafty. Use materials from your cabinet or backyard to spruce up your holiday tablescape. Have the kids chip in with a pre-Turkey Day craft session! Make some acorn napkin ties, dried leaf place cards, pinecone turkeys, painted gourds or just use some pumpkins, corn cobs, and gourds to create a festive fall arrangement.
  4. Get outside. Hey, most of us are big football fans, but instead of planting yourself in front of the TV all day, consider getting outside for some fresh air with your guests. By turning off the tube and going for a walk or playing some football, you’ll be making memories with your friends and family, while also being active AND decreasing your energy consumption.
  5. What’s left? Make sure your guests are sent home with a serving (or two) of leftovers, but before you get rid of everything you’re not going to reuse (turkey soup, anyone?!), separate your green scraps from the rest and add them to your compost bin. And of course, make sure you are recycling! Nauset Disposal’s easy single-stream recycling program makes it easy for everyone – from the kids to grandpa – no sorting or searching for tiny plastic numbers!