Here are 5 tips from our friends on the Harvard Longwood Campus EcoOpportunity Team to help you have a more sustainable Thanksgiving. 

1. End wasteful practices.

Use reusable dinnerware, glasses and napkins. Not only is it better for the environment, but who likes cutting turkey with a plastic knife and hoping the gravy won’t soak through the paper plate? 

2. Purchase local and organic foods when possible.

There are significant benefits of using local and organic foods, and free range and naturally fed animals taste better. While a lot of these choices may seem cost-prohibitive, buying even one or two items locally and/or organically grown can make a difference. 

3. Eat mindfully.

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day for eating to excess, but if you take a few moments to enjoy your food and eat with a purpose, you’ll most likely find that you’ve eaten less than you normally do. 

4. Eat less meat.

The meat industry is the number one source of methane gas, which is a major contributor to climate change. Another major environmental impact of a meat-eating diet is the depletion of natural resources. Even if you’re not vegetarian, try adding a little less meat to your plate and filling the rest of the plate with healthy sides, such as squash, green beans or kale. 

5. Get outside.

The temperature around Thanksgiving is perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Connecting with nature doesn’t have to involve hiking up a mountain, just being outside and feeling the sun on your face improves your mood and health greatly.