It might be too late to snag a Heritage turkey this year, but there are still plenty of last minute things you can do to make sure this year's Thanksgiving is your greenest yet.
1. Decorate with What What You've Got
Instead of investing in expensive, hothouse flowers that are shipped from around the globe, forage in your backyard for greenery, berries, and branches. Throw in some votive candles and some bright cloth (reusable!) napkins and you've got yourself a beautiful table.
More tips after the jump.
If you've got guests traveling to your house from a more-or-less common point, kindly ask them to please carpool. Yes it's obvious, but that doesn't mean it's not a time-tested, budget approved way to cut down on the number of cars on the road.
3. Support Local Shops
We talk about supporting our local farmers, all the time but don't forget to support your local merchants this Thanksgiving. Like local farmers, small, independently owned stores contribute to your area's economy. And when you do go to your local wine store, look for wine being produced in your own home state. Wine is now produced in every state in the US.
4. Pick One Thing to Do Organically: Potatoes
If for whatever reason you don't want to commit to an all-organic Thanksgiving, try to just buy organic potatoes. Potatoes are ubiquitous on Thanksgiving tables and on lists of fruits and vegetables that carry the heaviest residual pesticide loads. Conventional potatoes get the one-two-three chemical punch from herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides as they are grown. First, potatoes are treated with fungicides during the growing season, then they absorb the chemicals from the treated soil they grow in, and finally herbicides are sprayed on their vines before the harvest. After harvest, potatoes are treated with chemicals once more to prevent them from sprouting. Organic potatoes, unlike some other fruits and vegetables, are easy to find in non-specialty major supermarkets around the US.
5. Think Ahead to Leftovers
Mmmmm. Mmmmmm. Leftovers. If you know you'll be sending friends and family home with leftovers, ask them to bring reusable containers with them—even better, encourage them to bring non-plastic reusable containers.
Donate your leftover turkey fryer fat to be turned into bio-fuel.*
* Okay, this suggestion is only applicable if you a) deep fry your turkey and b) drive a veggie-oil fueled car, or c) live inPlano, Texas, but it sure is awesome. Residents in Plano organize pick ups of leftover oil after Thanksgiving and Christmas and contribute about 500 gallons annually to their local bio-diesel plant.
What are you doing to make your Thanksgiving greener this year?