Tips for an Earth-Friendlier Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks and gathering with family. It can also be a time of great waste, so let’s see if we can find some ways in which to be more earth-friendly this Thanksgiving. 

  1. Purchase products in glass and metal containers that can be recycled. There are lots of foods that are easier to purchase than make. I get it. I used to try to make my own gravy but after not being successful for too many times, and since only a few of us actually eat it, I have opted to purchase gravy. I make sure to always purchase it in a glass jar. Glass can be recycled, so I’m taking a small step to be more earth-friendly in that regard.
  2. Make turkey broth from the turkey carcass. I know more than a few of my friends who talk about wanting to cry when they visit family and they see the carcass going straight into the trash. I have learned over the years to make broth from either turkey or chicken and freeze it, and I have found it to be quite simple. 
Here’s how to make broth: Put the turkey or chicken carcass in a slow cooker, cover with water and let simmer for about 8 hours. Let it cool, remove all of the bones and ladle the broth into jars. All you need are some pint mason jars with lids. Leave about ½ inch of headspace in the jar to provide room for expansion when freezing. Make sure to label the lid with the month and year that you made it and put it in the freezer. You’ll have plenty of broth for the winter months. When it comes time to use it, just move the jars from freezer to refrigerator a couple of days ahead of time and they will thaw and be ready for use.

  1. Use reusable containers to store leftovers. We used to set a box of zippered plastic bags next to the leftovers to store them but have learned over the years to embrace the reusable containers. We even have some that go in the freezer, so we use all that we have. 
  2. Freeze some leftovers to reduce potential food waste. Estimate how long the family will tolerate leftovers for meals and then freeze the rest. One of the things I do is to chop up leftover turkey into 2 cup portions and freeze. The 2 cup quantity is perfect for adding to casseroles. Make sure to label the turkey and add a date so you know what it is and when it went into the freezer. 
  3. Make your own pies rather than purchase pre-made pies to reduce the amount of trash. Buying premade pies is really convenient, but between the box and the foil pie pan, it can result in a lot of waste. Instead, consider making your own pies and using reusable pie plates. I’m not one to make my own crust, so I purchase that premade, but otherwise, it’s homemade. Perhaps I should call it home assembled instead.
No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving this season, make sure to take some time to be grateful and to give thanks. 


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