Celebrate Thanksgiving With Your Family and Your Planet

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ThinkstockPhotos-497753329

Turkey:

Fifty years ago, Americans did not eat the over engineered bird that we consume today. We dine on heritage turkeys. Firmer, richer, juicier, and more flavorful–for these birds, gravy serves no purpose.

Find your turkey at www.localharvest.com

Use their convenient drop down menu to choose your state and view their selection of turkey farms. Pick your bird after browsing photos and prices. Be sure to start your turkey search well ahead of time. A heritage turkey will cost more, but resources are saved when you’re not cooking the turkey overnight or soaking it in brine. Knowing your bird wasn’t abused makes the taste that much more delightful.

If price is an issue, find organic or sustainable turkeys at specialty shops. Check your local farmers’ market, butcher shop, or organic grocery stores, like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s (a less expensive natural store). Save a trip, and call first to ask if they carry turkeys labeled as “American Humane Certified,” or “USDA Certified Organic.” Look for phrases such as: “grass fed” and “heritage variety.”

A vegetarian Thanksgiving is another option–just skip the meat.

Beverages:

Save money and waste by serving tap water rather than bottled. Tap water near metropolitan areas is just as filtered as most bottled waters. About one-fourth of bottled water actually comes from city tap water sources.

Fixings:

Buy less food. Does anyone ever eat all of the leftovers? Not only will you save your own time, energy, and money, but you’ll also be reducing food’s packaging waste. buy any organic products that you can. Clip those coupons! If you don’t receive the newspaper, don’t worry. You’ll find more coupons online anyway. Search Google for coupons to local stores, and print.

A farmer’s market is another viable option. It’s pricier, but also fresher, free of chemicals, and genetically unmodified. You’ll be supporting your local farms and minimizing your carbon footprint at the same time. Again, if you’re near a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, you’re in the clear.

Find various farms in your zip code: www.localharvest.org

Dessert:

An uncarved pumpkin in the window or on your steps from Halloween transforms into a delicious homemade pumpkin pie!

Leftovers:

Use bones and turkey scraps for turkey soup. Layer stuffing, corn, yams, meat, and anything else for the English leftovers dish, bubble and squeak. It bakes like a casserole.

Enrich your soil while paring down on landfill deposits by composting any inedible scraps you may have.

Sweet pie

After the Feast:

Forget your TV. Tell stories around the table while food digests. Then take advantage of the crisp weather by bringing the party outside for a leisurely stroll. When you’ve had enough of the chill, come back for a few hands of cards or a board game.

Plan out your carpool route for Black Friday (environmentally friendly gifts can’t hurt). go your separate shopping ways once you arrive at your destination. You’ll save gas, mileage, and sanity by having someone in the car to talk to while stuck in traffic.

Remember, Thanksgiving is not about what you serve, but those whom you are sharing it with. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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