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Simple Ways to Have a More Sustainable Thanksgiving

Posted October 18, 2023

Every fourth Thursday in November, the aroma of turkey, the excitement of football games, and the sweetness of pumpkin pie unite families across the United States in celebration of Thanksgiving. While this festivity may often lead to overindulgence, it’s crucial to balance the bounty with sustainability, ensuring a waste-free holiday that’s generous to our planet.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlights a staggering reality: food waste makes up over 20% of all landfill waste. This Thanksgiving, you have the power to shift this statistic. How? By planning your holiday feast with intention and mindfulness, thereby minimizing the organic waste contributing to landfills.

How to Have a Waste-Free, Sustainable Thanksgiving:

  1. Organize Your Kitchen Spaces: Before the holiday hustle begins, declutter your refrigerator and pantry. This isn’t just about cleanliness; it’s about inventory management. Knowing what you already have prevents overbuying, thus reducing potential waste. This simple act is the first step toward a sustainable Thanksgiving.
  2. Smart Shopping with a Food Planning Calculator: Guesswork often leads to excess. Remove the uncertainty from your shopping list with a food planning calculator. These online tools provide precise estimates for party sizes, ensuring you purchase just enough for your guests.
  3. Creative Leftover Management: Embrace leftovers as the culinary encore of Thanksgiving! Prepare adequate storage containers for remaining food, encouraging guests to partake in the bounty even after the holiday. Go a step further by transforming turkey bones and unused vegetables into hearty homemade stocks, perfect for upcoming winter meals. Remember, freezing is a friend to foods like turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, extending their life and reducing waste.
  4. Mastering Compost Practices: When leftovers extend beyond reuse, composting is your solution. Keep your GEOBIN® Composter ready, separating compost- friendly scraps during meal prep. By doing so, you’re not just reducing landfill contributions; you’re enriching your compost with nitrogen-rich material, perfect for your garden. Remember, not all leftovers are compost compatible. Here’s a quick guide:

What You Should Compost

What You Shouldn’t Compost

Compost With Caution

Vegetable & fruit scraps like potato and carrot peels, winter squash shells, lettuce, onions, citrus peels, apples, and tomatoes

Meat and bones: Difficult to break down and attract unwanted pests

Cooked vegetables: This is okay in moderation, but generally only if they were not cooked in fat.

Unbleached paper products

Fats, grease, lard, or oils: Attract unwanted pests

Cooked starches: Attract unwanted pests


Dairy: Attracts unwanted pests


With these tips in hand, you’re ready to embrace a Thanksgiving that’s as kind to the environment as it is joyful for your family. Start planning today and take pride in knowing your sustainable practices contribute to a healthier, happier planet.