Prepare Your Attitude and Kitchen for Thanksgiving

As Enviro Girl turns the page on her calendar (because she’s old school that way–it hangs on the wall in her kitchen), she sees it’s time to start getting ready for two major Wisconsin holidays, deer hunting and Thanksgiving.  She doesn’t deer hunt, but she does some prepping to make her Thanksgiving holiday eco-friendly and meaningful.

1.  Contrary to what you see in magazine and TV ads, there’s no need to buy Ziploc or other storage containers for Thanksgiving leftovers.  Reuse the plastic you’ve already purchased when you buy sour cream, yogurt, ice cream and bread.  Those reusable containers and bags will store food and make it easy to send extra stuffing and turkey home with your guests.  They’ll refrigerate and freeze leftovers, too–just remember not to reheat plastic in the microwave!

2.  Buying in bulk reduces packaging and costs less.  If you know you’re prepping food for a large crowd, consider heading to a bulk food store.  Reduce your plastic consumption by bringing your own containers to the bulk food store.  Enviro Girl will buy staples like nuts and grains at her local store.

3.  Keep an eye on staples when you grocery shop.  Before Thanksgiving you’ll find items like cranberries, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery and pumpkin on sale.  Stock up on those ingredients–and if you know you’ll require these same supplies for Christmastime meals, buy extra.  Root vegetables, frozen and canned goods will last months if properly stored, so take advantage of those low prices.

4.  Incorporate gratitude into November.  This year Enviro Girl’s family is making a “Tree of Thanks.”  This is a branch she cut out of her garden and stuck in a pot on her kitchen table.  She cut a stack of “leaves” out of construction paper and threaded them to “hang” on the branch.  A few times each week her family will write something they’re thankful for on a leaf, gradually filling the tree with gratitude.  You could invent many variations on this idea to prepare your mind and spirit for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

5.  Make some of your Thanksgiving food ahead of time.  Party mix, pies, soups and cranberry relish can be made weeks ahead of the Big Day–just store them in air-tight containers and/or freeze as appropriate.  Martha Stewart offers several recipes that you can make up to a month in advance of your Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to happen only on November 22nd, you can make time for it all month long.

Tell the Eco Women:  How do you get ready for Thanksgiving?


3 thoughts on “Prepare Your Attitude and Kitchen for Thanksgiving

  1. Luckily, I don’t have to prepare the whole meal, just the desserts, as we get together with extended family. That said, my desserts will need to include vegan and gluten-free options in order to meet everyone’s needs, so I’ll need to do some research, as well as make some adaptations to a couple of old family recipes.

  2. I love the idea of the Tree of Thanks … being aware of how lucky we are shouldn’t be a once a year thing. We are vegan so most of our holiday ingredients are things we regularly use … with just a few twists. We also make the day very relaxed … everyone gets together in the kitchen and cooks so we never know exactly what the finished meal will consist of. It’s great fun! Thank you for such wonderful tips!

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