Food waste in the U.S. is a huge problem that has the potential to get worse during the holidays. Here's how to have a sustainable Thanksgiving and enjoy time with friends and family while being mindful of the environment.
Make as many things as you can from scratch.
Around 80% of greenhouse gas emissions from food come from its production. The less prepared and packaged food you buy, the lower your carbon footprint. Try making your gravy and pie from scratch this year instead of buying it pre-made.
Take stock of the ingredients you already have in your pantry.
Chances are, you have a jar of tomato sauce hidden in your pantry. This is a great opportunity to do a clean out of your cupboards so you could use what you have and limit overbuying.
Only make what you know will be eaten.
If you know that everybody loves pumpkin pie and that's what you always run out of - make that instead of having four different pies that nobody even touches. Additionally, if you recall throwing away bowls of mashed potato last year, make a smaller batch this year.
Choose recipes that you'll still enjoy as a leftover meal.
If you know you hate leftover green beans, make a smaller batch. If you know you hate leftover mashed potatoes, make a smaller batch. If you know you'll have tons of leftovers because your family is smaller, choose recipes that you're okay with eating the leftovers of later.
Coordinate with other attendees.
If you're hosting, keep tabs on what everyone else is bringing so you can avoid making too much of the same dish.