Keeping Thanksgiving Green

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is refreshing to have a holiday centered around being thankful, and reflecting on what matters to us most. A favorite family Thanksgiving tradition of mine is writing an anonymous list of what I’m thankful for. Each family member also writes an anonymous letter. Then we put our lists into a hat. Before we eat, we each choose a list from the hat and read it aloud, and guess who wrote it. My list always contains being thankful for the time I get to spend outdoors enjoying our environment.

In the theme of giving thanks, here is a list of reminders for staying environmentally conscious during this Thanksgiving:

1. While Shopping:

- Remember to bring your reusable bags to the grocery store. I always store a couple bags in my car, just in case I have to make a quick stop for something I forgot.

- Try not to over shop. Count the number of guests you will have and plan the portions you will need ahead of time. Making a list will help protect against over-shopping and will hopefully cut down the number of last-minute trips to the store.

2. Compost/recycle:

- If you already compost, make sure the bin is out and easy to for your guests to find. If you don’t, it’s a great time to start! Here is a link to information on composting at home from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.

- Recycle! Look up, read, and remember your city recycling regulations. Each city differs in what they will accept in curbside bins, so make a sign to hang above the recycle bin for your guests to reference. Refer to this Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District link to confirm what can go in your bin.

3. Preparing for your guests:

- Remain environmentally conscious while cleaning your home. Cleaning products can be toxic and harmful to our environment. Here is a link to safe alternatives and guidelines for everyday household cleaning.

- Now is the time to pull out your favorite dishes and silverware. Whether its Grandma’s China or your own plate ware, anything is better than paper or styrofoam!

- Use fabric napkins. Nothing says “special occasion” like a fabric napkin.

- Get creative with your centerpieces. This is a perfect time to use old photographs and decorations from around the house. Look for inspiration from outside and collect tree branches from outside to use in vases.

4. Leftovers:

- If you are a guest, don’t forget your reusable containers.

- Don’t just throw out the uneaten food! Reheating food is great, but don’t forget there are other options: soup, casseroles, and chili to name a few.

From everyone here at Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Blog author: Megan Smith, Urban Technician

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