My sweetheart surprised me by preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Knowing that I was vegetarian, but not understanding that I ate meat substitutes, he prepared all of the trimmings, minus the turkey. Since he also knew that I preferred a “natural” diet, he cooked everything on a campground BBQ. Sweet man, wonderful intentions, but charcoal briquettes are really made from nasty chemicals. Outdoor cooks can compromise by buying eco-friendly charcoal today. Often we think that being green means doing things the old-fashioned way, or outdoors. This is not necessarily true. A green Thanksgiving meal can be enjoyed in a modern home.
Let’s face it, life was tough generations ago. Rather than falling back into a previous century and duplicating traditional methods of preparing a holiday feast, attempt a few small changes, instead.
Opt for alterations that save money and are environmentally friendly. Consider exchanging your petroleum-made acrylic cutting board with a bamboo board this year, or buy one for your hostess as a “thank you” gift. Keep a covered pail handy in the kitchen for vegetable peels for your organic garden compost. Use recycling bins that are hidden away underneath cabinets or on caster wheels.
The Green Turkey
There are a few options. You can purchase an organic free-roaming, compassionately raised bird. Either your grocer will label the poultry this way or you can buy from a local organic farmer. These birds are not subjected to the cruel conditions that are unhealthy for the bird and human consumer, nor are they fed grains that have been grown with pesticides, genetically modified, or stored with preservatives. The other options are to prepare an organic tofu turkey, or to gather at an organic vegan restaurant. Of course, you want to be sure that all the side dishes, desserts, and beverages are organic, as well.
You can go green by purchasing tablecloths, napkins, and curtains made from organic cotton. Man-made synthetics are not eco-friendly. Decorate your table with soy candles that are unscented, or replace your incandescent light bulbs with LED lights. Be sure to replace the bulbs in your kitchen as well as your dining room.
Unplug your kitchen appliances when not in use. Appliances drain electricity even when they are off.
Encourage Guests to “Go Green”
Ask your guests to either wear “safe make-up” that does not contain carcinogenic ingredients, or to refrain from wearing cosmetics altogether. You can do this by telling them how beautiful they look without it.
Giving Thanks is Green
Expressing appreciation is free and causes no harm whatsoever.