Our Guide to a Sustainable Thanksgiving

From grocery shopping and picking recipes to storing leftovers, we’re sharing our top tips for a more sustainable Thanksgiving.

Check out our whole Gather collection for more ideas and inspiration.

1. Start at the farmer’s market or your local co-op

Head to your local farmer's market or co-op to stock up on sweet potatoes, leafy greens and winter squash for a truly farm-to-table Thanksgiving dinner. When you shop small and support local stores, you can feel good about reducing your carbon footprint. Plus, seasonal ingredients are bound to be that much fresher and tastier! Check out our local foods wheel to see what's in season right now in the Pacific Northwest. 

Local foods wheel 

2. Try plant based recipes

Meat and animal products can have a big carbon footprint, and we think serving plant-based dishes for Thanksgiving can result in a delicious and Earth-friendly menu that everyone can enjoy.

This roundup of all things cranberry, roasted squash, sweet potato and pumpkin by Minimalist Baker has us daydreaming about holiday gatherings. They've got decadent plant-based recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts.

3. Decorate your table with natural greenery and edible produce!

You can set the table with cloth napkins and regular silverware to avoid waste during the meal, but what about decoration? We turn our inspiration to the outdoors and local gardens. A few branches of pine or greenery as a centerpiece looks lovely and smells fantastic. Add some winter squash, sweet apples, or edible pumpkins to get in the Thanksgiving mood. 

We love using sprigs of herbs like rosemary to adorn the plates or spruce up a place card. Beautiful, and fragrant. Cinnamon sticks or whole cloves can be a nice touch as well. 

4. Spice things up, sustainably.

We pretty much begged Nyema, the local maker of these mouth watering herbal seasoning blends, to let us sell them in our store. That's how desperately we wanted to share these with the world! 

Sadly, as online customers, you can't smell them from where you are. If there was a way we could fix this, we would. The Kanye Pepper is our personal favorite - perfect for adding a little spice and heat to Thanksgiving dishes. Purple Rain is a dream on rice, and Forever Green is great in soups and veggies.

 5. Pre-portion your leftovers to avoid food waste.

Everyone knows cranberry sauce is better the next day. The best way to avoid food waste is to put leftovers away in meal sized portions so that they’re easy to grab and go for lunches or quick dinners. Keep your leftovers fresh and tasty with our new microwaveable containers! 

They're nontoxic, leak-proof and super transportable. Nevermind super chic! They're the perfect size to portion out a lunch or dinner for one.


6. Non-toxic cleaning made easy.

With all the coming and going around the holidays, the dishes can really pile up. Lucky for you, we’ve got lots of new compostable options for dish brushes and sponges.

We just introduced a zero waste sponge made from a gourd - it’s 100% plant fiber and each one lasts about six months! Our loofah dish sponge totally rivals a traditional dish sponge and has great scrubbing power, but it’s safe for nonstick pots and pans.

Plus, we have the cutest Swedish dish cloths to help you get your home clean and sparkly before the guests arrive, and mop up the inevitable spills. They polish surfaces and can soak up 20x their weight.

From start to finish, with a little thought and preparation, we can make this Thanksgiving a low waste affair. Send us your ideas and follow us on Instagram for more inspiration!