Subscribe to receive exclusive news, workouts, giveaways and more!

7 Tips for a Waste-Free Thanksgiving

According to the U.S.D.A., Americans waste between 30 and 40 percent of the food supply each year—that’s 133 billion pounds of food. As Thanksgiving approaches, feasting will abound and plenty of food will end up in the trash.

Eco-conscious mamas and mamas-to-be are probably wondering how to make sure the holiday has the least impact on their health and on the environment. And though it may seem like a small act, eliminating excess food waste can make a sizable impact. Here are some simple tips for enjoying a waste-free Thanksgiving.

Plan Ahead

The simplest tip may just be the most important. Think about your grocery list in relation to how many people you will be feeding. Here’s a general guide to how much food you need per person:

  • 1 pound of turkey
  • 3 to 4 ounces of vegetables
  • 1 potato or yam
  • 1½ ounces of stuffing or rice
  • A 3-inch wedge of pie
Ask Guests to Bring Reusable Containers

Not only will this cut back on the use of plastic wrap and aluminum foil, it will mean you can hand off more food to guests so you aren’t left eating the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole for a week.

Get Creative with Leftovers

Sure, the day-after turkey sandwich is delicious the first time around—but not necessarily the fifth. Besides making soups and salads with leftovers, take them to the next level by whipping up, say, turkey tostadas or enchiladas or using extra sweet potatoes to make pancakes.

Be Generous

Donate to local food banks and homeless shelters; if you live in the New York City area, check out how you can support City Harvest, the world’s first food-rescue organization. Or make a meal for an elderly neighbor.

Take the 100-Mile Thanksgiving Challenge

Challenge your family to find as many items on your Thanksgiving menu as possible within a hundred miles of your home. This is a great way to get the kids excited about the holiday and to allow them to experience food straight off the farm versus straight off the grocery store shelves.

Utilize Your Freezer

If you can't bear to look at another sweet potato or cranberry, try freezing Thanksgiving staples for an easy meal at a later date. Remember: You can freeze just about anything.

Compost Leftovers

If you are lucky enough to have a garden, composting Thanksgiving extras is an excellent way to help it along.

Add your comments