‘Greener You’ Challenge #35 – Create a Right-Sized Thanksgiving Meal

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans toss 25% more trash than the rest of the year. How ironic that holidays based on bounty and gratitude create such incredible waste. Consider these post-Thanksgiving stats.

  • 200 million pounds of turkey will be tossed.
  • 150 million pounds of side dishes will never be eaten.
  • 14 million pounds of dinner rolls won’t be sliced & buttered.

There are times we encourage you to forgo meat—that’s not our focus this holiday. Instead, we ask you to help slash those food waste statistics by creating a celebratory meal that’s right sized for the number of guests you’re serving. It’s the most important thing you can do for the Earth this Thanksgiving.

Here’s How:

Take Inventory: Check your fridge, freezer, and pantry to make sure you’re not shopping for ingredients you already have, particularly fresh ones.

Edit the Menu: Because Thanksgiving is such a nostalgic holiday, there’s an urge to indulge every guest their holiday favorites. Instead, make your menu, then thoughtfully edit it. We’re guessing no one misses the few dishes that didn’t make the cut.

Don’t Double: Our family doesn’t love Thanksgiving leftovers, so we never make extra. Other people live for them. If so, make a little extra to enjoy in the coming days. Hosting a small gathering? Consider halving recipes meant for a crowd.

Compost, of Course!: If you can’t use up all your leftovers in time, compost them.

For more on how to create a more Planetarian Thanksgiving, tune into this week’s podcast!

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