Topic of the Month - Making a Sustainable Thanksgiving

A family around a thanksgiving turkey 1960's

Thanksgiving is heaped with tradition. It's a holiday that is defined by tradition. You can't swing a frozen turkey without hitting a pilgrim hat or gravy boat. But, the nice thing about Thanksgiving is that these traditions are defined through each family's experiences. Thanksgiving takes a simple gesture and makes it something grand. You start with a meal and make it a feast. You take a balloon and turn it into a gigantic piece of recognizable culture that floats down a street in New York City.

Thanksgiving makes the small, large. But, it's in the transition from the small to the large that we get our traditions. Each region, town, and even each family has their very own way to make this holiday their very own. But, it's in these differences that the traditions shine.

So, in an effort to help make your Thanksgiving traditions more sustainable, here are a few tips that you can bring to your holiday.


Conscious Consumerism

We've put together a few articles that can help you make those first few steps towards gifting more green. 

1) Greener Gifting This Holiday Season -  Are you asking, just what is a conscious consumer? Well, it’s someone looking to have their purchases reflect their standards and principles. In some cases this is easier than in others, depending on access, information, interest, and time. Some of the elements to consider when thinking about whether you’re purchasing is in alignment with your values are as follows. Do you know how and where the item was manufactured? Are the materials renewable, environmentally friendly, recyclable, reusable, or simply waste at the end of the life of the product? Do the company’s values match yours? Is handmade and do you know the creator? And so on. You may create your list of “must haves” when shopping for items. This certainly may be an unfolding process too, where you refine that list as you become more intentional about the gifts you give.


2) Giving Differently - It’s that time of year where we all turn our minds to the holidays. It is a time we’re supposed to spend cherishing loved ones, family, and friends. A time we are supposed to sit back and relax, to take a break from the stress of everyday life. Unfortunately, most people don’t feel that way about the holidays anymore – it has become a time where we feel obligated to meet all sorts of expectations, like finding the perfect gift for everyone, traveling far to see relatives, and spending time with extended family.


3) Four Reasons to Buy Local Turkeys - There are so many reasons to purchase your turkey from a farmer that is local. You can easily find out the conditions the turkey was raised in. You can find out what they feed the turkey. If you’re serious about looking locally for your Thanksgiving feast, Minnesota Grown is a valuable resource that will connect you with local producers throughout the year, not just for Thanksgiving. You can search for the local producer nearest you, or the one that best fits your values.


Kids Crafts

pilgrim-hat-craft-toilet-paperEvery kid loves to create something they can show off to their friends and family. Here are a few ideas that you can use that will also help you get rid of some of your unwanted recyclables. Your kids are gonna love these.

1) K-Cup Turkeys

If you just haven't kicked the habit of those awful Keurig single use cups (which are a huge waste in both construction and disposal), you can make a second use of the cups with these corny little turkeys that your kids will love to make.

2) Recycled Pilgrim Ships

Coffee is just great, isn't it? Now, here's a way to get your coffee fix and be able to stockpile for Thanksgiving. You can use the cup sleeves and stir sticks from your coffee trips to make your very own pilgrim ship. These can double as place holders or really fun decorations. Plus, they're really easy to put together.

3) Recycled Pilgrim Hat

Instead of throwing away your toilet paper rolls, you can make a really fun craft for the holiday. All you need is some construction paper, a black marker, and your favorite brand of toilet paper roll.





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