I am happy to report I placed an order for our family’s bird for Thanksgiving dinner, and will be picking it up on Tuesday. It’s a ritual (now in it’s third year) at the Mangum casa. Now, lest you think me more of a domestic diva than is prudent, I do not cook an entire Thanksgiving meal. We are blessed (my husband might chose a different word) to live super close to both our families and as such, we trade off Thanksgiving Thursday every other year between the two fam-damns (and both sides contribute to meal preparation).

But what I do is purchase the turkey. I volunteer for bird-buying duty because I want to make sure that the poultry that’s given its life for our tastebuds has had a happy life. So we buy local, from a family farm where we can witness first hand how our fowl-friend has been treated.

It’s just one way I try to infuse a little eco-friendliness into the festivities. That said, we’re one week from Thanksgiving. And there are more websites and suggestions for greening your turkey day than ways to prepare stuffing.

A few of my favorites for a Green Thanksgiving include:

While these sites are filled with options for making your Thanksgiving green from the top down and bottom up, for this month’s sustainable living challenge, I’m suggesting you just start with something small even.

Here are a few suggestions for going green on Thanksgiving:

  • Buy side dish ingredients from a local purveyor (potatoes are easy and cheap!)
  • Instead of Marie Calendars or Costco, learn to bake – or perfect – your pie making skills.
  • Get out the cloth napkins. It’s Thanksgiving and Tracy Chapman wants to know “If not now, when?”
  • Instead of plastic or single-use centerpieces, have kids create table-art from found or repurposed objects.
  • Or pictured above, mini-gourds and pumpkins from our garden serve as a centerpiece that’s easily composted for next year’s garden

Perhaps most importantly, with “thanks” being the operative word this coming Thursday, take a moment to give thanks to the farmers and producers who made your meal possible. Reflect on where the food you’re enjoying has come from. Just the act of mindful and thoughtful eating can be a huge step in greening up your diet and the planet.

Which reminds me, I’d be filled with gratitude to hear what environmentally friendly actions you’ll be taking next Thursday.