Thanksgiving is in a few days and I know my GREEN buddies are looking for ways to GREEN this big holiday, so here are five tips to help you get there.

Thanksgiving is in a few days and I know my GREEN buddies are looking for ways to GREEN this big holiday, so here are five tips to help you get there.

One: Pick a central location for your big feast. Whether it’s friends or family who are gathering, or a combination of both, find the most central location for everyone whether they’re traveling across the city, or across the country. Every carbon emission we can cut out reduces our entire carbon footprint.

Two: Plan! If you plan your meal in advance, writing your list and checking ads, not only will you minimize trips to the grocery store you will save money, too.

Three: Buy local. Purchase as many parts of your feast from local buyers as possible. Look for squash and pumpkins especially this time of year. (Ever made a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin? Unbelievable! There are special pie pumpkins that have thicker, more flavorful flesh although any will do.) There are several local grocery stores that sell many fruits and vegetables from local growers. Most will advertise these are locally grown – save those transportation dollars!

Four: The turkey. Buy a free-range, hormone-free, pesticide and antibiotic-free, naturally fed bird. If you have not ever had one, you would not believe the difference between a “natural, free-range” bird and the typical ones found. There is also a big difference between fresh and frozen. Pay attention to what you are buying. Sure, they may cost a little more, but, believe me, they are worth it!

If you want to go bird-free, try a Thanksgiving dinner with sautéed tofu and gravy with mushrooms, shallots or cashews. These options can be just as delicious, and often, more healthy. There are lots of recipes on the web.

Five: Decorate simply. Use natural beeswax or soy candles, and use natural items to decorate your Thanksgiving table; after all, that’s what the Pilgrims used. Spread an assortment of small pumpkins, gourds, apples, pinecones, acorns, and dry fall leaves down the center of the table. A bowl or basket with fall fruits and Indian corn also looks nice. The colors and unfussiness will be a simple reminder of what Thanksgiving is really all about – a celebration and thankfulness for the freedoms and bounty we share in this country.

Six: Sharing. Share your time, your day, your heart. Perhaps this is the year that you and your family will gather at a local soup kitchen and serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless, or deliver Thanksgiving dinner to a less fortunate family. It may be the best Thanksgiving you have ever experienced and may lead to a lifelong tradition, a life of giving and a more sincere sense of thanksgiving you have ever felt before.
Thanksgiving does not have to be complicated or stressful to be enjoyable. With just a little preplanning and a commitment to simple you can make this one of your most memorable Thanksgivings yet.