If you want to be conscious of the environment this Thanksgiving, there are some things to look out for. Here are some tips.

1. Watch out for mass-farmed turkeys. Just because a label says the turkey is “all natural” or has “no artificial hormones,” it doesn”t mean the turkey was not produced on a fac
tory farm. So research the major brands of turkey and find one whose farming practices you”re comfortable with before making your purchase.

2. Organic, free-range turkeys are an eco-conscious option. Again, read the label and don”t hesitate to contact the farmer or company that produced the turkey. The phrase “pasture-raised” or “pastured” means the turkey was raised on pastureland, which is an eco-friendly option. The best choice would be a turkey from a small, local farm.

3. Consider a meatless Thanksgiving. There are tofu “roasts” that you can slice and serve to your family, or simply make a vegetarian meal. To take up the space normally occupied by the turkey, make pumpkin soup and serve it inside a big pumpkin shell. Or make a colorful pasta or a vegetarian loaf of grains and beans.

4. Eat seasonal, local foods that are organic. What foods are in season will depend somewhat on your area. Foods generally in season in late November include:

* Cranberries
* Pumpkins
* Sweet potatoes
* Turnips
* Nuts
* Squash (winter squash such as butternut or acorn)
* Apples

5. Use cloth napkins at your table. You can make them yourself, or buy them from antique or second-hand stores.

6. Dispose of the disposables at the table. Use reusable flatware, tablecloths, and cups.

7. Stay away from plastic decorations. It”s so easy to collect all kinds of plastic or mass-produced decorations for your house, but it”s not very eco-conscious. Make your own decorations from eco-friendly materials. Using items from nature (pinecones, acorns, berries, etc.) or recyclable materials from your own home are eco-friendly options.

8. Pay attention to the thermostat. Keep it around 72 degrees. Build a fire if possible to create a wonderful atmosphere and keep warm.

9. Serve some raw foods to conserve energy. You can go beyond just a cold veggie tray. There are lots of interesting raw food dishes, from pasta to dessert.

10. Stay home if possible, and celebrate Thanksgiving without excessive travel. If you do travel, make sure your tires are inflated properly. If you need to fly, try purchasing carbon offsets.

From http://greenplanetethics.com

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