At Yeahtips, we like to highlight environmentally friendly ideas when we can. Thanksgiving may be a holiday to indulge, but take some time to consider your environmental impact to keep your holiday as green as possible. Here are some of my favorite tips from my research this week.
Stay local or travel smart
If at all possible, try to celebrate with the family and friends that are close by. Holiday travel has a huge impact on the environment each year. If distant travel is a must, try the train to save on gas emissions (no traffic is a bonus here too).
Plant a Tree
I really love this one. Plant a tree to show thanks to the earth for another year. Planting one tree may not seem to matter much in the face of global climate change, but small things do matter. In one year, the average tree absorbs roughly 26 pounds of carbon dioxide and returns enough oxygen to supply a family of four. You can also plant a tree anywhere in the US or Canada through Treegivers.com or buy a tree in the Amazon at Rainforestforever.org
Make Eco-Friendly Decorations
With a few simple supplies and a little imagination, you can make great eco-friendly Thanksgiving decorations and have a lot of fun in the process. Colored construction paper can be cut or folded into simple Pilgrim, turkey and harvest decorations. Later, the paper can be recycled. The Holiday Spot web site has some great ideas.
Say NO to Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap is a single-use petroleum product, and contains PVC, a chemical that can leach into your food. The most environmentally-friendly way to store food is in reusable containers, such as glass jars. You can start saving these ahead of time, so you’ll be prepared to send guests home with leftovers. Aluminum foil is a greener choice than plastic wrap because it can be recycled.
Other Leftover Ideas
Once the party is over, it’s time to decide what to do with all that leftover food. Don’t forget to donate your leftovers to a food bank or nearby homeless shelter. And remember to compost your food scraps.
Only buy wines with real cork stoppers, rather than plastic. Trees are not cut down for cork, and it is a crucial part of the forestry industry. Look for organic wines and liquors, and freshen tap water with a filter and some lemons.
Create a new tradition with your family to try an environmentally friendly idea each year. What other ideas do you have? We’d love to hear them.