- Use a meal planner, such as Perfect Potluck, to coordinate with guests and avoid having too much food (or not enough bread rolls..)
- Encourage guests to bring their own reusable dishes rather than disposable ones. This is tough for a bigger party, so a balanced suggestion we have is to utilize things like paper cups, real silverware, and strong paper plates instead of plastic utensils. Then, leave out a bin labeled “used utensils”. At the end of the day, you can fill the bin with soap and water and use it as the wash bin.
- Have an obviously labeled Recycle / Compost bins out for everyone to use
- Utilize small washcloths or towels instead of paper towels for guests to use in the bathroom
- Make things from scratch wherever possible. Around 83 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from food comes from its production, so the less packaged and prepared food you buy, the lower your carbon footprint. Plus, there’s just something so magical about putting your own TLC into a meal for sharing with others.
- Take stock of your ingredients before you shop. There’s a good chance you’ll find an unopened bottle of vanilla extract in the back of the cupboard. You’re welcome.
- Plan ahead for food storage options. If you have a local thrift store close by, this is a great time to find some cute antique casserole dishes that can be given to guests to take leftovers home in. Alternatively, you can encourage them to bring some of their own
There are two types of people in the world – those who love to shop for a party and those that detest it. Whether you’re on one side of the coin or the other, the shopping’s gotta get done. Here’s 5 ways to make it more sustainable.
- Bring those shopping bags – and don’t forget your produce bags! This might seem like a no-brainer, but ask yourself. Are your bags back in the car right now after your last shopping trip? (You’re welcome)
- Buy in bulk whenever possible. Make use of the bins – you’ll probably save yourself a few dollars as well. This also goes for bigger portions, which use less packaging than buying 3 of the same item from a smaller grocery store.
- Buy as much locally produced food as you can. The closer your food is, the lower its environmental impact. Many local farms are offering “farmboxes” that offer not only locally and organically grown produce, but also make use of what’s in season near you – this means more flavorful, fresh and fun meals to create while also supporting your local food economy.
- Stick to your list. Not only is this healthy for your wallet, but also helps reduce food that looks great on the shelves but ends up not being used come Thanksgiving day.
- Save your veggie scraps! You can freeze them and use them for stock later on.
- Recycle everything you can. Check your packaging beforehand, and recycle appropriately while things are quiet and you’ve got the brainpower.
- Make prepping as easy as possible by setting out a compost bowl, a recycle bowl and trash bin.
- Invest in a good roasting pan. The aluminum pan we all love to use won’t be able to be recycled if it’s covered in turkey dinner. Also, that pan will last for ages and actually save you money in the long run!
- Minimize and coordinate oven time. If you live in a warmer climate, you can also make use of your outdoor grill – while not as good for baking, it can hold a fairly steady temperature that you can use for cooking vegetables, casseroles, etc.
Hopefully this gives you a good place to start when planning or hosting this year's Thanskgiving. Stay safe and healthy!