Thanksgiving in Canada comes complete with dozens of traditional festivities – there’s the fall nature hikes, get-togethers with family and friends and of course, the delicious meal. This year, we’d like to introduce you to a new Thanksgiving tradition: Going Green! With just a few simple tweaks to your holiday plans, you’ll be saving energy and reducing your carbon footprint.
1. Shop Local, Shop Organic: As you plan your Thanksgiving feast, make an effort to do your shopping at the local farmer’s market and choose ingredients that celebrate the recent fall harvests. The farther you have to travel for groceries, the more gas you’ll be using and the more pollution you’ll expel into the earth’s atmosphere. The same goes for your food – the greater the distance it travels to get to you, the more toxic emissions are released into the air we breathe and the water we drink.
Be sure to select the organic, in-season produce items as well. Fruits and vegetables that are readily found this time of year are grown with fewer (if any) environmentally harmful pesticides.
2. Cook The Green Way: Now that you’ve got all of your ingredients, get to work creating a delicious dinner that won’t put additional strain on the environment. Here are 15 recipes using Canadian squash prevalent this time of year, an awesomely autumnal layered Shepherd’s Pie recipe and a mouth-watering Apple Orchard Cake with Cream Cheese Icing.
3. Reuse Decor and Dinnerware: This green Thanksgiving tip is one to remember every day of the year. Use reusable plates, silverware and glasses instead of paper goods and plastic ware that you’ll just end up tossing in the trash. The same goes for your holiday decor – go with faux wreaths, garlands, pumpkins and gourds that you can pack away and use year after year. Or better yet, create a natural ambiance using the pinecones and colorful leaves that have collected in your yard or garden.
4. Spend the Day with Friends and Family: Invite for dinner as many friends and neighbors as you can squeeze around your dining room table. The more people you have in one place, the greater the energy savings. With fewer homes in “celebration mode,” fewer lights and TVs are on, lower heating bills prevail and there are fewer kitchens in overdrive. The way we see it: The more the merrier!