Have a Green Thanksgiving

November 13, 2009, 8:37 am

Thanksgiving TurkeyFollow some of our tips and make Thanksgiving a green one!

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and planning is certainly underway. When preparing for the holiday, keep in mind a few of our tips to make your Thanksgiving a green one. It won’t take much to be environmentally and locally friendly this holiday season, take a look.

Keep it Organic
This year, eat like the pilgrims did and prepare a locally grown, organic meal. Supermarkets are increasingly carrying a wide variety of organic products, from turkeys raised free of artificial hormones and antibiotics, to responsibly cultivated fruits and vegetables. Purchasing ingredients from green markets or farmers markets will ensure that you not only have the freshest products available, but that you are also supporting a local farmer and his or her family. Cultivated without chemical pesticides and fertilizers, an organic, locally-grown and humanely harvested meal will not only be better for your health, it’ll also be better for the environment and your local economy. For more information, and to find a market near you, visit localharvest.org.

Reuse Your Plates
Do you have more guests than place settings at this year’s Thanksgiving? Consider investing in reusable tableware instead of using disposable ones. Try Preserve Tableware, which offers eco-friendly tableware at an affordable price. The products are made from 100 percent recycled plastic, are completely recyclable AND will also be perfect for your picnics next summer. 

Take a Staycation!

Instead of traveling for the holidays, consider celebrating locally, under your own roof. You’ll save money in travel costs, avoid clogged roads and reduce your carbon footprint in the process. While there is a definitive chill in the air, November is a perfect time to explore the great outdoors in your hood. Check out OhRanger.com to find hiking and biking trails, birdwatching spots and a variety of other outdoor options, tailored specifically to you. You’ll feel good about protecting the environment and not having to worry about the stresses of traveling.

Carpool and Flying Green
If you must travel, then consider taking mass transit or intercity buses or trains. The newest coaches offer services unheard of a couple of years ago. Features such as wireless Internet, power outlets and seatback video are not uncommon. BoltBus, megabus.com and Greyhound all offer service to points around the country and tickets start as low as $1 each way on certain routes. Supplies of super-low fares are limited, so book early! If you prefer to ride the rails, Amtrak’s comprehensive network can bring you to your destination comfortably and efficiently with the added benefit of a café car offering regional specialties, craft beers and wines. More importantly, taking the train will decrease your emissions by as much as five times compared to flying. If your destination is served neither by bus nor rail and you must drive, carpool with family members, old friends or new friends (well, actually, complete strangers—check out erideshare.com to find others looking to carpool). Sure your brother isn’t the best driver, but what he lacks in skill and musical tastes will be offset in green—you’ll keep more money in your pocket by sharing gas costs and toll fares. And your parents will be sooo happy that you are spending time together!

Give Thanks
Giving thanks doesn’t harm the environment and is sure to make someone feel better. Here at American Park Network, we’re traditionalists, and think that handwritten thank you notes are a must for host and hostess. Send a thank you that will always be remembered—Botanical PaperWorks' eco-friendly, plantable thank you notes are made from 100 percent post-consumer waste and are embedded with seeds. When planted, the card will sprout beautiful wildflowers! The recipient can simply plant it, water, grow and enjoy the blossoms.