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56 Ways to Help the Environment on Thanksgiving

Turkey on a plate
Public Domain Photo

Thanksgiving is another cherished tradition with a massive carbon footprint. According to the University of Manchester, a Thanksgiving dinner for eight is responsible for 44 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Sixty percent of that comes from the turkey alone.

Yet it is unlikely we will give up our 'belly-buster' holiday. We can, however, consider any number of ways to cut down on our climate change, environmental degrading profile on this splendid day. Here are 56 ideas to ponder. Pick out a few and give them a try.

Use paper cups not plastic cups

Only wash full loads in the dishwasher

Use metal and ceramic baking dishes instead of aluminum foil

Don’t pre-rinse your dishes before washing in dishwasher

Check your oven through glass door without opening it

Use reusable napkins

Use the correct burners on your stove

Using the rinse hold setting on your dishwasher Read more

Don't put stuff in the fridge that doesn't need to be there Read more

Bake several dishes at same time if you can Read more

Father and daughter carving a turkey

Use pressure cooker whenever possible. They cook quickly use less energy Read more

Foods and vegetables will take less time to cook if they are cut into small pieces.

Foods will cook faster & use less energy if you put lids on the pots and pans Read more

Don’t wash dishes with the water running continuously

Use reusable containers to store food instead of aluminum foil and cling wrap

Keep oils, fats and grease from going down kitchen sink

Don't waste time in front of an open refrigerator Read more And More

Cover liquids and food so they don't give off moisture in fridge Read more

Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean so they radiate better Read more

Things cook faster in real convection oven Read more

painting of colorful leaves

Use cast iron skillets instead of Teflon coated ones Read more

Turn off oven early and cook with residual heat

Air thaw your foods

Heat leftovers with micro wave or toaster not oven

Buy reusable coffee filters for the coffee pot

Use tea strainers instead of tea bags

Eat a locally grown Turkey

Wash dishes with cleaning cloths and scrubbers instead of plastic

Don't fly somewhere for Thanksgiving - stay close to home

Use a "Guest-Imator" to plan Thanksgiving dinner Read More

photo of desserts on thanksgiving

Be reasonable with your menu and shopping list

Borrow cookers and dishes instead of buying

Have a vegetarian Thanksgiving Read More

Send leftovers home with people

Carpool to get to Thanksgiving dinner (maybe not this year)

Have dinner at family member's home most central to others to reduce travel

Prepare fewer foods or smaller amounts to reduce waste

Borrow a roasting pan instead of using aluminum throw away pans

Tell people about your eco-friendly ideas for Thanksgiving

Look for USDA Certified Organic Label on your Turkey

photo of wine and drinks for holiday
Unsplash Donna Lay

DIY Make candle holders out of gourds

DIY Decorate with nature

DIY Have the kids make the Thanksgiving decorations Read More

DIY Use baking soda and vinegar to clean your Thanksgiving drain

Do an original Thanksgiving - have it with neighbors instead of travel

Go meatless for Thanksgiving

At Thanksgiving go paperless.

Great time to compost or use a compost service

Use your convection settings on the oven

After thanksgiving dinner clean oven by hand to save energy

photo of coffee and pumpkin pie

Don't forget to lower the thermostat if you have lots of people for thanksgiving

Use the microwave instead of the oven when possible

Buy a Tofurky for your non-meat-eaters Read More

Use non-toxic cleaners to get ready for your guests at Thanksgiving

Serve tap water at Thanksgiving

Use soy or vegetable wax candles for decoration

Happy Thanksgiving!


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