Thanksgiving is one of the most celebrated holidays. It’s a time to be thankful for everything you have in life including the planet. This holiday you can make a difference and show how thankful you are by embracing a few environmentally friendly tips.

#1 Locally Grown
While it may not be feasible to purc hase all of your Thanksgiving food locally, you might be surprised how much of it can be grown in your community. Start by visiting your local markets. They may advertise locally grown produce or have a special section for local foods. Some communities have farmers’ markets during the fall and winter months. If you’re lucky enough to have one available to you, check it out. A bit of research can also help you find local farms and ranches that sell to the general public. For example, you may be able to visit a turkey farm, choose your Thanksgiving turkey and take it home that day.

#2 Organic and Certified Humane
For the foods that you cannot purchase locally, consider buying organic and certified humane. Organic foods are grown without pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to your health. Certified humane means that the turkey was raised and treated humanely throughout the entire process and without antibiotics or growth hormones. It also means that their feed was raised organically, without pesticides or fertilizer made from sewage sludge.

You might not know that you can also purchase locally grown and produced and/or organic wine, beer, hard cider, and other adult beverages. Explore what’s available in your community and enjoy your discoveries.

#3 Reusable Leftover Packaging
You’ll inevitably have Thanksgiving Day leftovers. Instead of storing them in plastic bags, place them in reusable containers. You’ll save money and produce less waste, which reduces what ends up in landfills. You might also consider using aluminum foil, which can be recycled if you have a community recycling program.

#4 Stay Close to Home
Staying close to home reduces the emissions caused by car and air travel. It’s also much less stressful. If you normally travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, consider inviting a few neighbors and family members who live close to your home for the holiday celebration. This simple effort will help reduce global warming caused by carbon emissions.

#5 Natural Decorations
Nature is abundant and can be used to create magnificent decorations. Consider using items you already own, like baskets and vases, and adorning them with natural elements. You might use gourds, pinecones, and even broken branches to decorate your holiday table. Evergreen boughs also make a wonderful foundation for natural holiday decorations.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to enjoy good food, good friends, and the abundance in your life. Celebrate this year by taking a few steps to have a green Thanksgiving. You’ll make a contribution to the planet and probably save a bit of money in the process.

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