Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Responsible Feasting

By Archive, November 13, 2007  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Archive
Thanksgiving’s around the corner, and with it comes the many excesses of feasting. While you’re enjoying the occasion to visit with family and friends, whether at your home or theirs, it’s a great opportunity to remind everyone about recycling, reusing and composting (but probably not a good idea to be a total pest about it with any unenlightened relatives!). For example, at your home you can make sure your guests know where the recycling bins are located and any specific household recycling procedures they can participate in. To take it a step further, take a look at these timely Enviro-Tips from The Nature Conservancy for more helpful hints on adding a green component to your holiday. November 2007: Let's Talk Turkey How are you planning to make your holidays more eco-friendly?

 

26 Comments

Comments

Bridget Richlen says ...
This is a small savings but a good one. After I steam vegetables, I let the water cool and then water my houseplants with it. There are extra nutrients in the water and I'm always looking for ways to reuse things!
11/14/2007 7:53:30 AM CST
Heather says ...
I will be trying to reduce packaging during this period of high consumerism. 1 - I will keep my reusable bags in my car and take them into every store (electronic, mall, and grocery) so I do not use a single plastic or paper bag this holiday. 2 - I will buy from the bulk bins reusing bags from previous purchases or reusable containers. 3 - I will make reusable gift bags to avoid having to use wrapping paper. 4 - I will try to choose gift items that have little or recyclable packaging.
11/15/2007 7:05:21 AM CST
Sharon Athanasiou says ...
I'm telling guests who are bringing food that they are preparing to heat it up here, if possible. This way, I can put several food dishes in the oven at once, so all of my food-bringing guests can save energy at home, with less oven use. I am also using NO paper plates or paper cups, and am only using cloth re-usable napkins. Additionally, I am supporting the Earth and Earth-conscious farmers by using ONLY organic foods/ingredients in ALL of my Thanksgiving dishes (tastes sooo much better, too!).
11/15/2007 7:10:12 AM CST
Karen DeVeaux says ...
One ecofriendly thing we plan on doing during the holidays is to not make any trips to the store on Thanksgiving. I incorporated all my holiday food shopping with my regular shopping trips and have everything I need. I wish everyone would not do any shopping on Thanksgiving. That way all the stores would realize it was a waste of money to be open and they would then learn to be closed that day. Think of all the gas and pollution that would save, when all the employees would not have to drive to work that day and the shoppers would not be shopping. And on top of it, the employees would get to spend the entire day with their family!
11/15/2007 8:09:41 AM CST
Christa says ...
Rather than having several smaller celebrations, friends are pooling resources and bringing loved ones to a larger group celebration. We figure we cut down on waste and reduce stress by each person making one dish. Plus, we're celebrating in our neighborhood so no need to get on a plane, in a car, or on a train. I'll be making my dish with local ingredients to boost up its green value!
11/15/2007 8:16:32 AM CST
LORNE OLSEN says ...
WE SHOULD HELP THE ENVIRONMENT BY RECOGNISING GLOBAL WARMING AND KEEPING THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE SOLUTION ASPECTS BECAUSE THEY WILL ADD POLITICS,WASTE AND INCOMPETENCY TO ANY SOLUTION.
11/15/2007 8:38:59 AM CST
Lyndsey says ...
This year I'm staying local and joining a few good friends for Thanksgiving and we are scaling down the meal quite a bit. Every year I see tons of Thanksgiving food go to waste because too much gets made and folks don't want to deal with the left overs. This year, there will be 3 sides, in smaller serving containers, rather than 8-10, and a single dessert, rather than 3-4. You don't have to stuff yourself to celebrate abunance- Thanksgiving is about more than food. You can feast on the joy of being with friends and family. And even in this case there will still be great food, just less of it to go to waste. P.S- if you live in Nashville, as I do, you can take leftovers to the Mission. They welcome the food and thier moto is 'if you'd eat as a leftover, then so would we.'
11/15/2007 8:43:49 AM CST
David Belton says ...
The single most important idea for being eco-friendly, to me, is to use every resource to it's fullest. For instance, with a turkey (or any poultry you may prepare), be sure to use all of it -- meat for eating (and sandwiches and casseroles later); drippings for gravy (and don't forget you can make dog biscuits with this!); giblets for eating or for a nice dog treat; and finally, the bones -- they make a wonderful stock/broth - just simmer them with some of your leftover veggies and a dash of vinegar in plenty of water for a few hours.
11/15/2007 8:53:06 AM CST
Kristi Gilleland says ...
We recycle, and we freecycle. We also donate clothes - both good and bad - to our local Salvation Army. Our SA sells clothing that is not in condition to resell to a rag-rug maker. Some SA's have to pay to dump goods that are not in condition to resell, so you might want to check with your local one. This helps others afford things they need, supports the mission of caring for the needy, feeding the poor, and keeps good stuff out of the dumps.
11/15/2007 9:16:12 AM CST
Carol says ...
I can't stand seeing all the Christmas wrapping paper on sale, knowing that it will all become trash. We reuse holidays bags and boxes from prior years, and use brown shopping bags we decorate as wrapping paper.
11/15/2007 10:03:09 AM CST
Catherine says ...
I am staying local for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, which will save the carbon emissions. Additionally, I will use my reusuable "green bags" for all my shopping, not just at the grocery store, buy products with less packaging or recyclable packaging, and recycle or reuse as much as possible (which I already do year round).
11/15/2007 11:00:45 AM CST
Cindy in Mpls says ...
For holiday gift giving, we make cloth re-usble gift bags from festive material. Most of it is recycled -- the non-stained part of a holiday table cloth, mismatched cloth napkins,etc. A great way to keep otherwise damaged "heirlooms" alive! Some of the fabric we got at a thrift shop, which makes for some great retro gift bags. I make them in all sizes and sew in a drawstring so they can be tied tightly until it's time to open them. If you're not a sewer, you could make them with no-sew fabric glue or iron-on hem tape. We've used -- and re-used -- these for years, and have fun adding to them every couple years. No paper is wasted and gift wrapping is FAST! Even faster because my young kids can help wrap too.
11/15/2007 12:45:28 PM CST
theresa rooney says ...
When I have guests, they each get a clean pair of athletic socks to wear at my house, It keeps their socks clean of pet hair, keeps the outside dirt etc out of my home and keeps their feet warmer so the house temp can be a bit lower. The socks are in a basket by the front door pairs held together by cute little clothes pins. Also when cooking lots, the thermostat can be turned down a bit. When the cooking is done and we all sit to eat, the fruit pies go in the still warm, turned off ovent to warm up. The plates sit on the stove to stay warm. Stove top cooking is done with lids on, to help water boil faster and then often taken off the heat just before done, so they finish cooking on their own. The boiled water is not dumped right away, if salted it is left in a pot to add steam to the dry winter air then tossed. If not salted, the same, but then the house plants get the cooled water as a treat. When showering, I leave the door open to moisten and warm the air in my small house. I hang blankets between rooms, in the doorways, to slow heat exchange and only warm the rooms we are in.Bedrooms are kept cool and extra quilts help keep us warm along with a hot bottle (great for plants later).
11/15/2007 12:58:53 PM CST
H. Niehoff says ...
We eat early in the day before it gets dark and this cuts down on using so much lighting for our guest. Later that night we get out the leftovers and have a candlelite snack. We also send the guests home with leftovers so that we don't have anything to waste and throw away. We use a wood pellet stove to keep the area of the house we spend most of our time in warm, so we can turn the thermostat way down. We always use reusable table wear and wash full loads in our energy efficient dishwasher. After using the oven, we leave the oven door cracked to disperse warm air into the house.
11/15/2007 6:41:57 PM CST
Mo Wahl says ...
We'll be washing and keeping all non-glass packaging from foods we've purchased for Thanksgiving to 'stock the shelves' in our son's make-believe grocery store (glass would be too risky as a play-thing in our opinion). We do this with our groceries during the rest of the year as well, but at Thanksgiving, we buy things like cranberries and marshmallows that we don't buy other times of the year, so he will have new 'items' to sell and to buy from his 'store.' We're hoping as he gets older that he'll learn all sorts of useful things about name brands vs store brands, buying in bulk vs shelved items, looking for eco-friendly goods/packaging (organic and natural vs conventional, plastic-free packaging, etc) and use math and social skills in make-believe-store play. It's win-win-win - he learns skills through play, there's less to go to the landfill (for things that can't be recycled), and we don't spend a lot on pre-fab toys for his 'grocery store' and kitchen play areas. We hope others will be able to make use of this idea as well! Namaste!
11/15/2007 8:51:41 PM CST
Rob Wallace says ...
We are doing several things to have less impact on the world this Thanksgiving. Some of them are things we always do, but that have a greater impact when making larger meals. 1) Our vegetable trimmings (onion paper and tops, stems of greens, mushy tomato spots) will get frozen in reused produce bags. When we have 2 or three full bags, we will dump them in the stockpot with water, and make a batch of soup stock. The cooked down vegetables are filtered out in the colander, then placed in the compost pile, and a few months later our garden. That's real recycling! 2) We choose our menu to take advantage of what is grown locally. Here in New Orleans there are still greens and even late tomatoes which we can get at Whole Foods or from a Farmer's Market. Satsuma and other citrus are coming in, and it's time to get the last of the basil and other herbs from the garden. The fall nasturtiums will add color and flavor to the salad. 3) We are careful about quantity. It's very easy to buy and cook too much. That's not as bad if you compost your aging food, but you still don't want to waste food. And speaking of waist, who really wants to eat until you are uncomfortable, and then have to put in more exercise time to take it off? Okay maybe we do want to, but should we? 4) Lastly, we minimize packaging as much as we can, re-use what we can, and then recycle as much as possible. The bulk aisle helps us get a lot of what we need with out boxes. The plastic bags from bulk items and produce we use to wrap up leftovers, and the breads we bake. The rest we put out every other week for the local company we pay to pick it up.
11/15/2007 10:57:36 PM CST
Lisa says ...
Well, I've finally gotten serious about carrying my canvas bags with me. I've had them for years, but never seemed to have them with me when I needed them. I keep them by the front door now, so I grab them and put them in the car whenever I head out. And I've been using them everywhere I go. When I first used them back in the mid-'90s, baggers used to look taken aback. Now, noone bats an eye. It amazes me that more stores don't encourage shoppers to use them. Another thing I'm doing is planning to my toaster oven to bake things this year instead of turning on my big oven. I plan to do that all year long, especially during our Florida summers.
11/16/2007 10:56:36 AM CST
Ann Babenco says ...
I plan NOT to wrap gifts this year...Instead, I'm going out to my yard to collect pine clippings, wild rose berries, pinecones, etc. and I am going to decorate the gifts with them! When done, I am going to put them right back into the compost bin!
11/16/2007 11:49:17 AM CST
Lela says ...
This year I'm putting together green kits to give as Christmas gifts. They'll include organic treats, samples of eco-friendly cleaning products and fair-trade cotton socks among other goodies. Instead of wrapping the kits, I got some brightly colored reusable grocery bags to put them in. I thought this was a fun way to introduce my family to the green culture and they'll be able to use everything they're given.
11/16/2007 2:57:13 PM CST
Carrie Oliver says ...
I am trying in little ways to reduce my part in negative climate change. I utilize public transportation, and also walk when possible. I reuse plastic bags. Instead of using heating devices or air conditioning, I put on an extra sweater, and turn on a fan.
11/16/2007 3:44:43 PM CST
Sarah says ...
I am purchasing all my ingredients at the farmer's market (using canvas bags and eco-bags) where I can get everything fresh, local and spray-free. The turkey comes from Whole Foods from a reputable organic farm. I ordered that online to save the gas I would have used driving across town. I'll use Bio-Bags to through away all composting material and place it in the green bin. I will save the turkey carcass to make turkey stock which will be a base for some great soups for the rest of the season.
11/16/2007 10:12:32 PM CST
Kathy says ...
Use recycled or biodegradable products for guests to bring home leftovers. Have them use recycled foil, not plastic to cover any plates. Or reuse clean deli or yoghurt containers for cold food.
11/17/2007 11:25:55 PM CST
Alice - CA says ...
I take a reusable container when I go over to my parents house for Thanksgiving. I can take left-overs home without using plastic bags or other disposable wrappers.
11/20/2007 11:03:58 PM CST
Stephanie says ...
Be sure to caulk any gaps in windows and replace your furnace filter. This will help keep your house warmer and more efficient for the holidays.
11/30/2007 10:16:40 AM CST
Jana says ...
I have a bucket with a lid just outside my door for recycling unwanted "food items" like peels, rinds, apple cores, etc. When it starts to get full I take it to the local community garden's compost pile. This is an easy way to recycle and it keeps the regular trash can in the house from getting smelly. Having one or more buckets nearby for recyclable bottles, cans, etc. takes care of the rest. Blessings All!
04/03/2008 5:48:04 PM CDT

Pages