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20 Plus Ways To Have A Tasty Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving Meal

Updated on August 21, 2016

Eco-Friendly Feast

Your Thanksgiving meal with your family should be filled with thanks and joy, So, doesn't it make sense to do what you can to make it less wasteful too? Take the time this year to really show your family and nature how grateful you are for what natures has given you. It is a lot easier than you think and it wont cost you an arm or a turkey leg in the process, unless you go vegetarian or vegan in the process, but you don't have to if you don't want too.


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

How Eco-Friendly Is Your Thanksgiving Feast

How Eco-Friendly Is Your Thanksgiving Feast?

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#1 Gobble Gobble! Run Turkey Run

Obviously, not eating turkey for Thanksgiving would be very eco-friendly. Options like soy turkeys, vegetarian dishes or vegan dishes are wonderful options here, but what if your family is really committed to having that turkey? What if you can't change their minds and they insist it just is not Thanksgiving without turkey breast or turkey legs? You can still minimize your environmental impact by buying a grass-fed, free range and or organically raised turkey.

Also take note not to buy the biggest turkey you can find. Buy only what your family will eat for that day and maybe 1 day of left overs. After about two days of left overs people tend to stop eating left overs and food goes to waste.

Clipart via Arcsoft

Just Can't Go Without The Turkey

Opt for grass-fed, free range and or organically raised turkeys. Again buy only what you need.

#2 Buy Your Food Locally

Cut down on carbon emissions and buy your food locally. Visit a farmers market, healthy food stores or your local grocery store for local foods.

Clipart via Hellasmultimedia

Locally Bought and Made Salad Recipe Challenge

This year challenge yourself to make a delicious salad only with products you bought that are grown locally. Can you do it? It is easier than you think. To do it visit a local farmers market, a health food store, your local grocery store (make sure the food is grown local) and or even from your own.

Try The 100 Mile Diet

100 Mile Diet

#3 Take The Organic Step If You Can

You bought local. Good for you! Can you buy organic too? If you can't don't worry about it, but if you can go for it. Because harmful chemicals are not used on organic foods organic foods are healthier, tastier and eco-friendly. So, if your pocket book allows shop for locally organic or pick one or the other: just organic or just local. Your entire meal doesn't have to be organic either, maybe just the vegetables or maybe just the fruits. You decide what is best for you and your family.

Clipart via Hellasmultimedia

How To Make An Organic Pumpkin Pie

This is easy. What ever your recipe for pumpkin pie is, substitute all or as many ingredients as you can with organic ingredients. For example, if the recipe calls for pumpkin filling opt for organic pumpkin filling.

#4 Cut Down On Packaging

One of the best ways to reduce waste is to buy fresh. If you buy fresh there will be less or nothing to throw away. For example instead of having canned pumpkin for your pie make a pie from scratch from a fresh pumpkin. I guarantee you everyone will love it and want more.

What if your side dishes consist more of fresh foods too. For example, instead of prepackaged stuffing how about a fresh salad with fresh veggies and nuts. Or instead of jello try a yogurt fresh fruit salad with pecans instead. My family loves this dish and its healthy too. It is easy to make and not expensive at all.

Clipart via Webweaver

Sweet Gratitude

Sweet Gratitude: A New World of Raw Desserts
Sweet Gratitude: A New World of Raw Desserts

This is a wonderful book for making desserts with fresh fruits and nuts. The recipes are very detailed and filled with love.


#5 Buy in Bulk For Items You Will Use A Lot

If you must buy packaged and you know you will need a lot of it buy in bulk to cut down on packaging. Buying in bulk also saves you money if you use it a lot.

#6 Compost Your Scraps

Once you begin chopping, peeling, cooking and so on make sure to leave out a bowl or container or bag to put your kitchen scraps in. Everything but dairy, meat and fat can go in this container. Once your container is full toss it in your compost bin. If you don't have a compost bin dig a hole in your yard or in your garden and dump the scraps there. In time they will decompose and leave behind rich dark black soil. If you have a bin don't forget to turn it. The more you turn it the faster the decomposition and the easier it is to keep any bugs or odors away.

Clipart via Hellasmultimedia

#7 Use Eco-Friendly Dishes

Serve your Thanksgiving meal on your reusable china. It's prettier this way. Sure you will have to wash dishes but washing dishes is therapeutic (it is for me.....No I won't go to your house to wash dishes). If you hate washing dishes opt for eco-friendly disposable. There are plenty of options on the market today. Take a look at some of the options below.

Eco-Dishware on Amazon

The items below are only some of the eco-friendly dishware options. Buy in bulk if you can to cut down on packaging.

#8 Use Last Years or Reusable Decorations

To decorate your dinner table this year opt for eco-friendly decorations. They can be decorations you swaped with friends, or bought at a resale shop, or they can be the decorations you used last year for Thanksgiving. Whatever you do avoid buying new decorations this year. There is no need for it. Every year when I shop at resale shops I find an enormous amount of Holiday decorations waiting around to be used. Save money and help the environment by decorating second hand.

Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving

#9 Recycle What You Can

Truth is no matter how hard you try to reduce waste you will have some. So... recycle what you can. If your neighborhood doesn't have a curbside recycling program take your plastics and paper to a recycling bin at a school, church or other non-profit organization to help them raise funds for their cause. For the rest of the trash maybe you can figure out a way to reuse it. If you can't that's okay to. There are still plenty of ways to keep your feast eco-friendly.


Turn to for place near you to recycle what you need to recycle.

#10 Open Up The Windows

With the oven and the stove on all day from cooking and the guest hovering around the kitchen and the dinner table snacking and chatting, your house will warm up fast. If you feel the need to turn on the AC wait. Consider opening the windows. Let some fresh autumn air come in. If the temperature is too cold maybe everyone's sweaters and jackets can come off if they haven't already. If it is still too hot, turn on the fans.

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What Is You Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving Meal Experience

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    • Ecolicious LM profile image

      Penny Pincher G 5 years ago

      @Margaret Schindel: that's awesome

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Awesome lens. Blessed and liked (my 900th SquidLike just went to YOU!) :)

    • mercin12 profile image

      mercin12 6 years ago

      We bought our turkey from our local farm. It will be delicious!

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 6 years ago

      A lot of good ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    • TIRMassageStone1 profile image

      TIRMassageStone1 6 years ago

      I love Thanksgiving, such a great time of year.

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 7 years ago

      Many excellent ideas...I'll put some of them into practice next year.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congratulations for being included on the Best of Lists, 75 Lenses You Shouldn't Miss This Thanksgiving by SquidTeam, and Happy Thanksgiving! - Kathy

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      This lens has some wonderful ideas. You have certainly inspired me to be more eco friendly when I plan holiday menus.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      A great reminder, especially if you're having a large crowd, that it is possible to be eco-friendly for your Thanksgiving Meal. ** Blessed **

    • encouragingwords profile image

      encouragingwords 7 years ago

      Lensrolled on Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping!

    • steveffeo lm profile image

      steveffeo lm 7 years ago

      Blessed by an angel

    • profile image

      envy666 7 years ago

      I bookmarked this on Mister Wong and Digg for you. Nice page!

      apron front kitchen sink

    • steveffeo lm profile image

      steveffeo lm 8 years ago

      You have changed hundreds of lives with this lens.

      I was stationed at Fort Hood many many years ago I still say Yall every once and a while,:):) I love Texas

      Thank You for creating this lens.



      Food for Everyone Foundation

    • profile image

      dmf32835 8 years ago

      Eco-friendly never tasted so good!

    • profile image

      bengriston 8 years ago

      We actually have enough land we raise a couple of turkies for the meal. They free range in the area around the home and help us out by eating the bugs.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      Congrats on LotD!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 8 years ago from Vermont

      We do all these eco-concious things and more. We grow our veggies and use natural decorations. I still have tiny dried ears of corn I grew more than 8 years ago - a classic decoration that just endures! We use pumpkins and fruits in natural arrangements, then eat them for future meals. We bake in volume, then share with friends and family. Congrats for LOTD and for building a top "awareness" lens.

    • ImproveMeU profile image

      ImproveMeU 8 years ago

      I love it, a great reminder on how we can all do our part to have an eco holiday.

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving !

    • steveffeo lm profile image

      steveffeo lm 8 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD Awesome lens and Thank You so much for supporting the Food for Everyone Foundation. Added you on Twitter also @Steveffeo

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD - nicely done!

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 8 years ago

      You deserve the LOTD with this lens! Way to go. Very nicely done! Congratulations!

    • profile image

      quicpost 8 years ago

      Happy Thanksgiving all the way from, Hawaii to one and all---very informative, enjoyed reading it---here in Hawaii, at Kahala Mall we have an organic store too, many people mulch it too and I'm with where you are all invited to join and be part of Mr. Pickens "army".

    • stacy mcdaniel profile image

      stacy mcdaniel 8 years ago

      Cool Lens! Congratulations! Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving.

    • profile image

      Tam2Win1 8 years ago

      Great Lens! Congrats for LOTD! Well deserved! We like to keep the prepared food down to a minimum since we do get sick of the left overs after the first day of them. If we end up with more than we can manage, we send them home with our guests or give them to someone who has gone elsewhere for Thanksgiving and may like some left overs.

    • BeautifulGreenB profile image

      BeautifulGreenB 8 years ago

      Great tips! Congrats on winning LOTD and donating $1k to "Food for Everyone"! Great job!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      Congratulation on LOTD and the win for your charity!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      Smart ideas and very do-able. Great work; congrats!!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 8 years ago

      Great lens with lots of good reminders. Congratulations on LOTD for such a worthy cause.

    • Gamganny profile image

      Gamganny 8 years ago

      Great Lens! congrats on Lens of the Day

    • Dee Gallemore profile image

      Dee Gallemore 8 years ago

      Great suggestions . . . and congrats on LOtd! Well-deserved.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 8 years ago from United States

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day!!!

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 8 years ago

      What great ideas Congratulations on LOTD!!

      Happy Thanksgiving

    • MissBuffySpears profile image

      MissBuffySpears 8 years ago

      Great job! Last year my boyfriend and I had a Tofurky for the first time. This year we are trying Quorn Roast. Great tips! Congrats for lens of the day!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 8 years ago from Concord VA

      Great ideas! I always use all of my leftovers by freezing what we don't eat and using it for later meals. Will lensroll you with my Thanksgiving Craft Ideas.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I loved this lens. We always try to have an Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving. What great info.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 8 years ago

      We will be eating out this year for the first time, and having dessert together...I am not sure how eco-friendly that is, but I support your thinking 100%! Congrats on LOTD, I'll roll this into my cranberry lens:-) 5stars, of course! ~claudia

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 8 years ago

      Great suggestions - although I had to laugh at not turning on the AC... I don't think we've ever had that problem of it being too hot in Chicago on Thanksgiving!

    • profile image

      mdpatrick 8 years ago

      Make sure to avoid farmed salmon as an entree -- it's horrible for the environment

    • perciavalle profile image

      perciavalle 8 years ago

      I liked your suggestion for composting. Compost everything you can. Also, starbucks gives away their coffee grounds -- if you don't ask for them, they generally throw them in the trash. Anybody ecoconscious should pick them up.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congrats on LOTD! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! :)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Congratulations to your charity and to you for Lens of the Day!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great tips and suggestions, these are perfect for Thanksgiving. I especially like the suggestion of giving other people leftovers to take home - sure, I'll take those off your hands! Nice work, Squid Angel blessed.

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 8 years ago

      Awesome lens with great eco-friendly Thanksgiving tips! Congrats on lens of the day!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      I'm a long-time vegetarian, so turkeys are safe around me! Congratulations on LOTD. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What an excellent "green thanksgiving" lens. Lensrolled to my green holidays and SquidAngel Blessings for you

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 8 years ago from United States

      A lot of great ideas here! Excellent lens!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 8 years ago

      Wow - good luck on the Charity Cook Off Challenge! I really enjoyed this creative and thorough lens.

      Blessed by an Angel (you can add it to the plexo on my angel lens, if you want). I've also become a fan.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 8 years ago

      Excellent tips!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      Join together - it is more eco-friendly for one kitchen to cook for 14 than for two kitchens to cook for 7. Plus, Thanksgiving is all about togetherness. Invite your neighbor to eat with you (especially if they live alone).

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 8 years ago

      This is a very original topic, however, I would have like to see pictures on the lens, that would have add to the quality ; which is, regarding the written side, high.


    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great list of ways to have an Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving Meal Experience and presented very nicely. I enjoyed the read and appreciate the tips.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      Good collection of tips! :)