Small Thanksgiving eco-friendly ideas

Giving Thanks in 2020 in a smaller greener way.

November 2, 2020
Autumn Brunch Getty Image / undefined
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Thanksgiving this year will look and feel different during #COVID2020. Many events will be virtual only to celebrate. This includes the Macy's Day Parade Avoiding large group gatherings, and sticking to close family / friends, those you have been with during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping in mind  COVID-19 precautions to keep those close healthy and happy for a new and better year for all in 2021.  Still there are ways to celebrate the positive parts that are getting us through during 2020 in a smaller eco-friendly way.

8 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving 2020 in smaller and greener ways. 

  1. Have a set menu with 5 items. A smaller group to feed means less food to fix that would be wasted. When shopping choose organic and local with eco-friendly / less packaging.
  2. Have a Potluck  Each person has a favorite dish to include in the meal. Use dishes that can be washed , and separate utensils for each person eating and for putting food on their plates.  You can also have one person pre-plate before it's time to eat. (organic  & local products)
  3. Have Brunch  There's no rule a Thanksgiving meal has to be lunch / dinner. Many times if there is an essential worker in your home, a brunch celebration is a better time to celebrate. The food choices are simplier to make. Turkey bacon, pancakes, waffles, french toast with scrambled eggs.  So many choices that are easy and make for a yummy meal. There is also no rule that you must stick to traditional foods for dinner.  Breakfast / brunch for dinner is a winner too. You can still include the pumpkin and  pecan pies ... chocolate / cakes too. Why not? It's your Thanksgiving meal during 2020. You may create a new tradition. (organic & local products)
  4. Take a holiday trip from home Enjoy dishes from other countries. Or make a theme .. French / Italian / Indian inspired meals for Thanksgiving 2020.  (organic & local products) 
  5. Order Thanksgiving from a local restaurant.  Helping local businesses during this tough time, and getting out of the cooking an big clean up. More time to relax and enjoy with those closest to you. Order from restaurants that pride themselves with buying local and organic. Staying low on waste / recyclable materials when it comes to how the food is delivered.
  6. Stick with Turkey  Want a traditional Thanksgiving with Turkey? Go smaller with your gathering. Maybe a breast rather than a whole turkey.  Not into leftovers, get sliced turkey, and warm it up. Ways to avoid waste, while saving time and money. Substituting turkey for a roast or lamb actually does more harm than good for the environmemt when it comes to it's CO2 level impact.  Another option is a vegetarian Thanksgiving with plant based dishes. We've come a long way with vegetarian recipes and choices. Way past Tofurkey.
  7. Create a dessert table. Instead of the stress of making pies, you could use what you have in the kitchen to create something yummy. Halloween candy & fruits can go a long way. 
  8. Thanksgiving picnic (nice weather).  Pack up your meal in reusable containers, and find a nice location in your backyard, or close to home. Be sure to wear masks when needed / social distance if you are around other folks, and bring / use the hand sanitizer (away from home). If the weather isn't nice, you can always picnic in the living room / basement / family room.  Make it a Thanksgiving of 2020 with a fun memory attached to it. One that makes you smile when you think about it years to come. 

There are several ways to make any Thanksgiving more eco-friendly. They are also easy 1Things to do daily. 

  • Use reusable or biodegradable dishes.
  • Limiting the amount of travel for the meal creates a much smaller carbon footprint.
  • Don't use disposable or plastic decorations. Natural is better. Or reuse decorations for future celebrations. 
  • Stick with turkey over beef, or go for a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Lessen the CO2 impact on the environment
  • Environmentally conscious food planning and prep. Start with organic and local products. Compost waste 
  • Good tupperware is much better for the environment. Avoid single use containers and packaging. 
  • Avoid food waste. Level up your leftovers.  Find more creative ways to eat turkey and the fixings such as casseroles, soups, pies and more.

For Thanksgiving 2020 it's important to celebrate the positives. Taking the COVID-19 precautions, while doing 1Thing to make it more green. Making Thanksgiving 2020  a happy & healthy time for all!

Thanksgiving greener smaller reads:   
Delish Small Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas 
7 Tips for an Eco friendly Thanksgiving
30 Best Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes That Go Way Beyond Just Tofurkey
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade