10 Tips for a green Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving season is here! The season reminds us of huge family dinners, elaborate parties and beautiful decorations which in most cases result in huge amount of waste.

This season requires careful planning; the amount of garbage we generate during festive seasons, most especially from now….. right into the new year is shocking!

That said, you can minimize waste over the holidays; it just takes a little bit of planning.

Here are green thanksgiving tips that can help:

1. Discussions:

The people you would be having over at your house are friends and family. Let them know ahead that materials that can be reused are welcome in your home and that if they bring materials that cannot be recycled they would have to take them home. It is important to be clear; these are people you already know.

2. Check your pantry before you go shopping:

The reason why we generate so much waste is due to the fact that we keep buying so many items without checking what we actually have available. Items in our pantries can often be overlooked due to our busy lives; but taking the time to go through them and using them up before they go bad, will help reduce the amount of waste we generate and also save us money. Some items may be sitting in the pantry for months. Take time to go through what you have and then decide on what you would cook based on that.

3. Reuse:

Holiday season is a gift giving season. You don’t have to go all out buying cards when you have cardboard and wrapping paper you can easily reuse. People cherish hand made cards too. So why don’t you relax and make cards out of materials you already have! Colored rocks make great gifts too. Pick up rocks from your garden, color them however you want and pack them in a container you already have! Your loved one will surely appreciate it.:)

4. Make your own decorations:

This is one cool step you have to take this holiday season if you’ve never tried making decorations before and if you have, you know what I’m talking about. Make your own place mats, pine cone turkey, turkey wreath, colored rocks. The list is endless.

5. Get your dining table ready:

A reusable table cloth will add beauty to your table. Reusable cutlery, plates and cups are great for the environment. Divide tasks among your guests by asking them to bring some food, reusable plates and drinks. This way you won’t have to do the planning and preparation all by yourself.

6. Not just TV:

Instead of just watching TV, do something exciting with your guests like board games, guessing games, soccer to keep the atmosphere alive! Families and friends can group themselves into teams and the winning teams can have their dessert first!

7. Leftovers:

WHen your guests are about leaving, ensure they take some food away. you can also donate to a homeless shelter.

8. Recycle:

Thanksgiving and recycling go hand in hand….that is after we must have tried to ‘reduce’ and ‘reuse’  waste. Place recycling bins in visible spots so your guests know where to place recyclable materials. This way, materials are diverted from landfill. You can print  this recycling sign and stick it on your bin.

9. Donate:

Donate to a charity of your choice. This is another form of gift giving. It doesn’t have to be toys, watches, bags, and clothes. You can actually help those in need this season.

10. Nature:

Plants and vegetables are great gift ideas. You can also plant a tree to honor a loved one. These are great gifts and in turn you’re also protecting the environment.


Talking to people matters when you’re trying to cut down waste and protect the environment. Educate people around you.

The waste problem is something we can definitely fix. We just need to act now.

How do you intend to minimize your waste this season and even after?

6 thoughts on “10 Tips for a green Thanksgiving”

  1. You are absolutely right, we create more waste than necessary. I always do really good with recycling but not so much with the waste. I will need to think about how I can reuse items that I have or buy. I must say I always save and reuse gift wrapping paper, stuffing paper and gift bags. My husband always laughs at me that I have a Dollar Store in the closet… but like you said, why would I throw away perfectly good gift bags when I can reuse them. Thank you for this reminder and appreciate your post 🙂
    Happy Thanksgiving

    • Thanks Agnes for your comment. You are on the right path to managing waste. You can always manage your waste effectively by keeping the 3Rs (Reduce Reuse Recycle) in mind. This way you would be able to control the amount of waste you generate daily. First try to reduce your waste by saying no to excessive packaging, buying in bulk. If you have to buy… for instance a cereal box, buy a large box instead of small boxes. Then Reuse and Recycle ….in that order.

    • You’re welcome. Green tips always come in handy not just during the holiday season; but also in our day to day lives. Thanks for stopping by Diane.

  2. My wife and I always go through the pantry, fridge and freezer to see what we got. We can then see what can be used and make a menu around it. That way as you suggest we can get rid of the old stuff, and not buy more of the same product.

    • Hi Owain, thanks for leaving a comment. I must commend your effort. You are doing the right thing by using up what you have before going out to buy more stuff. This way less waste is generated and you save money too!


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