Give Thanks to the Earth this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! While you put together your grocery lists and start thinking about what you are thankful for this year, take a little extra time to thank the Earth. There are plenty of simple ways to “green” your Thanksgiving this year that will make both you and the environment feel better. Give thanks to the Earth with these helpful holidays tips!
Decorate Au Naturel
Before you run to Hobby Lobby to buy that beautiful centerpiece for your dining room table, take a quick look around your house or your yard. Elegance can be found right in front of you! Pick up some of those fallen pine cones and colorful leaves, and transform them into festive fall arrangements. Sometimes nature can be the most beautiful decoration. Plus, you can WOW your guests with all of your DIY surprises!
Shop Local
Try to avoid those mass grocery stores this year and choose your local farmers market for fresh finds instead! Shopping locally not only helps create and sustain jobs within your community’s economy, but it also preserves the environment of the land around you. Provide your family and friends with healthy and sustainable recipes this year, and we promise their holiday cravings will be just as satisfied.   
Hitch a Ride
Are you having lots of company over to your home for that big Thanksgiving feast? Encourage your guests to carpool to your house! Instead of flooding the already busy streets with more traffic and unnecessary carbon, family and friends can pile into the same vehicle to give Mother Nature more fresh air. Not to mention, this will cut out the chaos of holiday traffic and gather everyone to your festive table at the same time.
Stick to Tap
Just say no to bottled water this year! With all of that food, you and your guests are guaranteed to be thirsty. With multiple refills, its best to send your guests to the sink to get that next glass of water. Bottle water creates completely avoidable plastic waste. Save money and the environment by sticking to tap water this year.
Paper or Plastic? NEITHER.
We know that doing the dishes after a big feast can seem daunting, but it is important to stay away from resorting to paper plates and plastic utensils. By using reusable plates, you are eliminating so much extra unwanted waste. Expecting a large crowd this year? Have them chip in and bring some of their own dishes! While you’re at it, ask them to help you out with the dishes too. 
Portion Control
Before getting uncomfortably stuffed on stuffing this year, pause and portion out what you put on your plate. One of the biggest environmental catastrophes during the holiday season is wasting food. That being said, don’t let your stomach get ahead of your brain. Take a moment to think about how much you are putting on your plate. If you are hungry for more after that first plate, you can always go back for seconds! However, you do not want to waste any food that you thought you might be able to handle.
Show Your Leftovers Some Love
I think we can all agree that one of the best parts about Thanksgiving is the endless amounts of leftovers. Who doesn’t love to make turkey sandwiches for lunch the next day? Make sure to use reusable containers when packing up your leftovers for the week. It’s also a good idea to give your guests some to take home, in order to ensure that no food is forgotten. If you have had enough of turkey and mashed potatoes, consider donating your leftovers to a nearby shelter or food bank.
We know that the holidays can be stressful and you might just be trying to survive through the chaos of family gatherings, cooking, and football games, but you have an opportunity to take some stress off of Mother Nature by going green this Thanksgiving. Trust us, it’s worth it!