Thanksgiving is just over a week away and if you’re like me, you’re looking forward to delicious food and time spent with family. You may also be preparing to celebrate another holiday that is just as equally important and fun in my book–Friendsgiving! This holiday has evolved over the years to be a fun celebration around Thanksgiving that you celebrate with your friends. Below are a few tips we’ve put together to help you throw a fun, eco-friendly Friendsgiving this year:
1. Send out the invites. Instead of traditional paper invites, send an email, e-card or better yet, create a Facebook event to let everyone know about the event. A Facebook event will let you post all of the details and people can start chiming in as to what they can bring without a long email chain.
2. Make it a potluck. The good thing about Friendsgiving is the person hosting doesn’t usually have to handle the burden alone. When you create the invite, let your friends know what you will be providing then start a list of other food and drink items that will be needed.
3. Stock up on local, in-season produce. Head to your local farmers market to get all of the turkey day essentials. Luckily, much of the produce used on this holiday is in-season anyways like apples, cranberries, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and squash.
4. Have plenty of options Make sure you have gluten-free options as well as vegan/vegetarian food options–Tofurky anyone? A few delicious vegan options are spaghetti squash, roasted ginger-maple sweet potatoes, and roasted bussels sprouts.
5. Skip the frozen turkey and head to your local farm instead. Support your local farmers while also reducing your carbon footprint at the same time by purchasing your Friendsgiving turkey at your local farm. Smaller farms usually offer free-range, antibiotic free and hormone free turkeys as well so it’s a win-win.
6. Prepare the appropriate amount of food. Once it gets closer to your celebration, take a head count of approximately how many guests you’re expecting. Then prepare the right amount of food to minimize any waste.
7. Have a plan for leftovers. Undoubtedly, there will be leftovers no matter how much you prepare–that’s the best part isn’t it? You can plan ahead for this by having recycled leftover containers for your guests to take home that they don’t have to worry about returning to you. Or you can ask your guests ahead of time to bring with them reusable containers.
8. Compost your leftovers. Compost whatever is left of the leftovers instead of throwing them in the trash. Composts help to reduce landfill waste and turn food scraps into fertilizer. Compost your fruits, vegetables and eggshells only, no meat, dairy or processed foods.
9. Break out the china. Instead of using paper and plastic, use reusable dishes, cups, silverware, napkins, and table clothes instead. This will look nicer while at the same time cutting back on your waste. It might mean more time doing dishes but why do you think you invited all your friends anyways? Extra helping hands!
10. Get creative with your decorations. Instead of going out to buy new decorations, get creative by using what you already have. For instance, take some leaves from outside with some acorns, place in a clear glass bowl and use as a centerpiece. Pumpkins also make for great decorations–use a carved out pumpkin with flowers for a centerpiece and smaller pumpkins with your guests name written on them for place card holders.