Thanksgiving is a wonderful American holiday that brings family and friends together to reflect on and celebrate everything we’re grateful for. However, Thanksgiving celebrations often lead to excess waste that has harmful effects on the environment. Bayshore Recycling is committed to promoting and aiding recycling efforts and maintaining a sustainable future, so here are 4 tips we can give on how to have a green Thanksgiving.

1. Reuse

The most basic way you can start on a path towards a greener Thanksgiving is by using reusable dinnerware – plates, cups, and utensils, along with napkins. If you are hosting a lot of guests and must use disposable dinnerware, make sure it’s made from 100% recycled paper, sugarcane, or corn. These materials are compostable, and will definitely lessen the environmental impact.

This simple consideration can even extend to your Thanksgiving preparations. Use reusable grocery bags when you are shopping for ingredients, as well as reusable Tupperware containers for storing everything you make. If you’re spending the holiday at the home of a family member or friend, bring your own containers to package any leftover food you want to bring home.

2. Be a Green Traveler

Traveling, whether it be on the road or in the sky, can hurt Mother Earth. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S. transportation accounts for 40 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which is one of the top contributors to climate change. Therefore, it is crucial to reduce our transportation carbon footprint as much as possible. There are a few ways you can do this when traveling for Thanksgiving:

Pack Light

The heavier your luggage is when traveling, the more fuel your car, train, or airplane has to use. Try to pack only reusable water bottles and bags for taking back whatever gifts and leftovers your hosts give you. You will also save money on baggage fees by packing light, which is always a plus.

Travel on the Ground if Possible

If you are traveling for a short period, consider traveling by automobile or bus instead of going by plane. Even though the trip will take longer, your vehicle will emit less than half the waste that airplanes use. Also, try to carpool with friends! Using one car instead of multiple will reduce gas emissions as well.

Fly Efficiently

Choose a nonstop, direct flight rather than a connecting flight. Airplanes use the majority of their fuel while taking off and landing, so it is best to reduce that specific waste as much as possible.

3. Use Organic and Local Foods

You can have a sustainable Thanksgiving and support your local farmer’s market while doing so! In addition to helping your town’s economy, buying locally sourced produce is better for the environment than choosing prepackaged ingredients.

Try to buy all of your perishables, such as vegetables, bread, and stuffing ingredients, from an organic grocer. The main star – the turkey – can also be bought organically. Organically fed, free-range turkeys are raised without any pesticides or chemical fertilizers, making them both better tasting and better for the environment.

4. Compost Leftovers

If you’ve never used a compost bin, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to start! Composting transforms food and home waste into a rich soil conditioner that can greatly benefit your garden and front lawn. To begin a compost bin, all you need is a large container, some leaves or newspaper to pad the bottom, and dirt to fill the bin. Then, whenever you have any compostable waste, throw it into your compost bin! This Thanksgiving, instead of throwing out any leftovers, put them (along with your biodegradable plates & napkins) into the compost bin, where they will decompose and become a beautiful addition to your gardening routine.

Holiday Recycling in New Jersey

Give thanks this Thanksgiving by joining the movement to create a better, more sustainable future. Bayshore Recycling offers various recycling services and education to help you reduce, reuse, and recycle your Thanksgiving waste in New Jersey. We are committed to providing waste management services that are environmentally sensitive, and we are proud to cater to a wide variety of clientele. Let Bayshore be a part of your green Thanksgiving – contact us today to learn more or request a quote!