We all look forward to this time of year. The leaves change color, the smell of a hot meal brewing in the crock pot, family get together, friends and family gathering around a nice cozy fire. However sometimes we forget about Staying Green and eating Healthy. Thanksgiving is of course one of the holidays we all are waiting for all year round. Whether you’re a vegetarian, or not there’s always something to enjoy during the Thanksgiving Holiday. Family from out of town comes in to visit and the smell of Turkey and Dumplings fill your house. This is the time of year to be grateful for everything you have and to think of others who might not be as fortunate.
One of the things you can do to show how grateful you are is to volunteer at a local food bank, or even donate some cans of food that have been collecting dust in the back of your cabinet. In addition to helping others there are some things you can do to help the environment during this holiday season as well.
Use your Dishwasher
If you have a dishwasher make sure you use it this holiday season. A dishwasher uses about 1/6 the amount of water as if you were to wash your dishes in the sink.
You can also make your own Eco-Friendly Dish Detergent. Grate about 2 oz of soap and mix with Hot water. Mix in Borax and washing soda. Stir the mixture until it’s nice and thick. Pour the mixture into a container and let it thicken overnight. You can then use this mixture when loading your dishwasher after your holiday meal.
Eliminate temptation to overeat
One tip to not over eating is limiting temptation to overeat. When you’re setting the table for your guests this holiday season, instead of putting the food directly on the table try putting the food on a counter away from where everyone will be sitting. This technique will help eliminate the temptation to gourge and throw more food on your plate than you normally would. If anyone wants anything to eat now they’ll have to get up to get it, which will help them think about if they really should go for seconds or thirds.
If every family would eliminate the unnecessary need to travel this holiday season you could save about 1 gallon of fuel and we would reduce green house gas emissions by about 1 million tons. Instead of traveling far, invite your family over to your home this holiday season. If it is necessary to travel to your holiday destination, then make sure you set your thermostat and turn off the lights while you’re gone.
What to do with the Leftovers?
One of the first things you can do is find your local food bank or homeless shelter and donate your leftovers to the less fortunate. Use biodegradable containers and make sure you encourage your guests to take food home with them. If you’ve prepared a big meal there’s no sense in letting the food sit in the freezer or refrigerator for months only to be thrown out and wasted later on. Instead portion out your leftovers so that nothing is wasted and any food that can’t be saved should be donated or portioned out to your guests.
We know most of you probably recycle on a daily basis, but sometimes during the holidays we can forget the basics. Clearly mark any recycle bins or areas where your guests can place recyclable items during your holiday get together. Any plastic containers, beverage containers, or packaging should be recycled to avoid unnecessary items making it to the landfills.
Remember Holidays are all about getting together with family and friends and being grateful for what you have. Make sure you travel safe (if you need to travel), and follow these simple saving tips to make it a safe and Green Thanksgiving this year.
Your partner in living a greener life,
President Eco York, LLC