Green Thanksgiving: Let’s Give Back the Planet Its Original Color

It is that time of the year again. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and there is plenty to do in anticipation of this wonderful holiday. It won’t be long before Halloween and then before you know it, Christmas is upon us! But unfortunately there is a down side to all this celebrating. Did you know that the EPA has estimated that in the USA, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, 25% additional tons of waste is generated every week? This amounts to 25 million tons of extra waste.

Alarmed? You should be.

There are plenty of ways you can be eco-friendly and still throw the Thanksgiving party of the century. All you need to know is a few simple dos and don’ts.



There is always a lot of food wasted at parties because not everyone eats everything on their plate. By the end of the party, you will definitely find yourself with a lot of organic garbage that has nowhere to go. Don’t put it in the bin. Compost it instead. It will make a huge difference to landfills and the environment in general if families decide to compost their organic waste instead of throwing it away. Put out bins marked “Feed me with your scrap!” so people can dispose of their leftover food conveniently.



It’s a party. No matter how small it is, there will be beer or soda, if nothing else. What do we do with the empty cans? Recycle them of course! At your party you can put out bins for empty beverage cans which will make collecting them a lot easier. Scrap metal recycling has become incredibly convenient today. Almost every locality will have at least one metal scrap yard, if not more. And every city in the United States is laced with plenty of scrap metal recycling centers. Sims Metal Management, for instance, a leading recycler, has locations in over 17 states across the country. If you have an outlet in your vicinity, all you need to do is give them a call. Most recyclers also have a pickup service, so you don’t have to worry about carrying all your metal trash to the scrap yard.



We often want to decorate our homes with cute little knick knacks and fancy lighting. However, did you know that most of these cute little knick knacks are manufactured after going through various chemical processes? It leaves quite the carbon footprint. Be careful to select decorations that are made with consideration for the environment. You will find plenty of these online. is a great website for all kinds of eco friendly party ideas. You can also make your own decorations with junk that you don’t need at home; turn it into something of a family project.

Lights are okay to use as long as you reuse them and don’t buy new ones every time you want to decorate. Also, be careful to buy lights that don’t suck up the entire neighborhood’s power supply. Just saying.



When we say party, you would automatically picture a house full of people holding red paper beverage cups, and plastic plates with plenty of finger food. Typically, at the end of the party, the hosts are in no condition to sort out the trash and clean the cups to reuse or recycle them. All the trash just goes into a large garbage bag and finds itself out on the curb. It doesn’t take a genius to understand the harmful effects of excessively using disposable crockery. Even if they are paper and not plastic, at the end of the day, the volume of waste generated is massive.



Thanksgiving turkeys are usually injected full of chemicals (that we don’t even want to know the names of) to make them bigger and to make them grow faster. They are also fed grains that are laced with arsenic (yes, arsenic) to make their flesh nice and pink. Granted, not all turkeys are fed arsenic, but most that come from large production farms and are sold in bulk to grocery stores should best be avoided. Try to buy locally grown (or bred) food or try a chicken this Thanksgiving!



There is a lot that goes into manufacturing one invitation card. Trees have to be sacrificed to provide the paper, chemicals are used to provide the colored ink, trees are sacrificed again to provide the paper for the envelope, and finally, putting all this together in a factory has ten other repercussions altogether. So, say NO to paper invites. Take advantage of social networking and send e-invites instead. You can create your own e-invite at or buy them at


A green Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a boring or less delicious one. Follow these 3 simple dos and don’ts, and you should have a fun, guilt-free holiday celebration knowing that you have done your bit to protect the environment this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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