Thanksgiving just isn’t the holiday we know and love if it isn’t a tad gluttonous. But “gluttony” doesn’t necessarily need to translate to “wasteful” this year. Take a few simple steps to reduce waste:
Stay away from disposables:
When I think of big family gatherings, many wonderful, warm, homey things come to mind: gathering around the table, playing cards, catching up with little-seen relatives and enjoying delicious food. But one other image also floats to the front of my consciousness. It’s something that seems always to be present though never talked about – a huge garbage can filled to the brim with paper plates, plastic cups, paper napkins and plastic sporks. Holy wastefulness! That stuff is all headed for a landfill. Though disposable place settings might tempt you with the tantalizing promise of a few less dishes to wash, they’re not worth the waste. Plus, the use of real live dishes makes a much prettier table. Investing in reusable cloth napkins can also add a festive decorative touch to your dinner table when you choose a pattern or color to complement your tablecloth.
Make guests aware of your recycling options:
Things like glass beer bottles and empty soda cans don’t belong in that trash bin either! Place your recycling bin strategically so that it’s easily accesible to your guests and make sure that it’s clearly labelled. Employing the help of the little ones in your family can turn this into a great opportunity to teach kids about recycling. Ask them to decorate a festive cardboard box to use for recyclables, complete with magic marker hand-turkeys.
Use a natural centerpiece:
Make the beauty of nature your ally when it comes to decoration. A simple bowl or basket full of autumnal fruits or vegetables can add the perfect touch to your table. Apples, acorn squash and other gourds are particularly pretty and seasonally appropriate, and after the party’s over, your centerpiece will make a great snack. Go hunting for pinecones or acorns to give it that extra something. It sure beats buying a paper-and-cardboard decorative piece that will either be thrown away after dinner or will take up space in your closet until next Thanksgiving.
What better way to spend time together after dinner? If the weather is nice, go for a family walk or organize a friendly flag-football game. You’ll burn off some of those holiday calories while having fun and enjoying a beautiful, crisp autumn day.
Be thankful for all that mother nature provides for us. Keep the old gal in mind this year on turkey day and show her a little appreciation by using a couple of these simple ideas. Happy Thanksgiving!