This week we celebrate Thanksgiving. Many of us will celebrate with a hearty meal and maybe some holiday shopping. Whatever your plans may be consider this.
Think back to the very first Thanksgiving. It’s likely the meal they prepared back then featured little to any waste. Today’s world is far different and so too is our Thanksgiving celebration. Often Thanksgiving is filled with packaged meat, canned vegetables and desserts arriving in travel-ready containers. Leftovers are stored in plastic baggies and throw-away bowls, and food scraps are tossed along with them into overflowing garbage cans.
After Thanksgiving, it’s on to Christmas, our next big celebration involving a preparation process. It officially commences on Black Friday, a flurry of shopping that is focused on door-busting and coupon-cutting.
When coordinating your holiday week, consider the true meaning of Thanksgiving. This year let’s be thankful for our world; let’s protect it for generations to come.
Let’s start with shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. Make a shopping list. Staying organized will help you avoid multiple trips. While at the store, pay attention to what you are purchasing. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and consider products with less packaging. If you do buy items, make those the items that come in recyclable packaging such as plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, aluminum and steel cans and paper board or cardboard. When checking out, use your recyclable cloth grocery bags or opt for paper bags, which can be placed in your recycling cart or bin.
At home, use dinnerware instead of paper plates. Pull out your cloth napkins and silverware. Encourage guests to enjoy water, tea or lemonade in glasses versus soda or juice from a container. Separate leftovers into reusable containers verses throw-away ones, and when washing dishes make sure you run a fully loaded dishwasher to ensure energy efficiency. As always, make an effort to identify and recycle or compost items when possible.
When planning your Black Friday shopping extravaganza, the same basic considerations apply. Remember to take your reusable shopping bags, select products without a lot of packaging, and plan an efficient car trip by making a list the day before. When shopping, a useful tool is the Amazon Price Check iPhone app. You can download it for free at Amazon.com and it allows users to compare prices at all stores by snapping product pictures or by using a bar code scanner. By using this tool you can cut down on travel and therefore reduce your carbon footprint.
This Thanksgiving, let’s thank Mother Earth by doing our part to use a little less, recycle a little more and ensure many happy Thanksgivings for future generations.
About the author: Amanda Pratt is the Corporate Communication Manager at Rumpke Consolidated Companies, Inc.