How to Plan an Eco Friendly Thanksgiving Menu
by Catherine Quel
Thanksgiving is all about planning the perfect dinner menu and being eco friendly at the same time. Do you need help planning that perfect environmentally friendly Thanksgiving dinner? You have come to the right place. Here are some helpful ideas.
Let’s start with the turkey!
- Do not buy a factory-farm turkey. A factory-farm turkey may say on the label that it is all natural but it may not be. It might contain artificial hormones. Do a little research on the major brands of turkeys that are offered in your area and only buy from the farms who have the farming practices that you are looking for.
- You do want to buy an organic, free-range turkey. Read the label before you purchase your turkey. Look for words like “pasture-raised” or “pastured” on the label which means that the turkey was raised on pasture land or the turkey had free range of the land. If you have farms in your local area who sell turkeys, that would be a good choice. Then, you can actually visit the farm to see what kind of conditions the turkeys are raised under.
- You could also consider having a meatless Thanksgiving dinner and cook up a tofu roast. If your family does not like tofu, you can simply make a vegetarian meal. You can make pumpkin soup and serve it in small pumpkin shells or carve out a larger pumpkin and use that as a big soup bowl. You can also make colorful pasta and make a vegetarian loaf of whole grain bread and serve with beans.
- Eat locally grown foods that are organic and grown in your season. Some of these foods are:
- Sweet Potatoes
Let’s not forget about the decorations and the table!
- Only use cloth napkins on your table. Besides being environmentally friendly, they just look nicer. You can purchase these quite inexpensively at a dollar store, antique store, or you can make them yourself.
- A big no-no at Thanksgiving is disposable utensils, paper tablecloths and throw-away cups. Using disposable items on your table is definitely not eco friendly.
- Another no-no is plastic decorations. You can make your own decorations from items that you can find in nature like pinecones, acorns, leaves, berries and evergreen branches. Involve your children in this project and let them make the centerpiece for your table using these natural items.
- Of course, we don’t want to forget about the heating bill. Keep the temperature around 70 degrees or less if you have a fireplace and can build a fire. What a great way to stay warm and create a wonderful atmosphere at the same time.
- Save energy by serving up some raw foods instead of having everything cooked. You can have a veggie tray, but make some different types of raw food dishes.
- Don’t make reservations at your favorite restaurant for dinner. Stay at home and celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. Don’t travel great distances, save money on gasoline and wear and tear on your car.
Lastly, relax and have fun on this very special holiday.
These are just a few of the ideas that you can incorporate into your Thanksgiving menu planning to have a stress-free and eco-friendly Thanksgiving dinner.
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