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BellaOnline's Natural Living Editor

A Green Thanksgiving

ĎTis the season to give thanks, to go green, and to eat a lot of delicious food! What are the ways you can make this Thanksgiving greener for you and your family?

To start, the simplest way to go green this Thanksgiving is to give thanks. The root of living naturally is to live with values of gratitude and compassion. Thus, Thanksgiving is perfectly in sync with going green since we sit around the dining room table and each share all that we are grateful for.

Second, if you are able to buy the produce for your delicious ingredients at your local farmers market, and that produce is organic too, you just scored major points in going green this Thanksgiving. There may not be a farmers market in your town, so look online for other nearby towns that may host them. Often a larger city near you will hold them on the weekends.

Third, when buying packaged foods at the market look for items that are easily recycled, such as cardboard containers, cans and bottles. More and more companies are also using less packaging, so you may just find that your favorite stuffing has a smaller box, but not less stuffing mix in it. We have the experience of opening large boxes that donít need to be that big given the amount of food in it, so try to stick with those companies that are breaking that habit.

Fourth, try to reduce carbon emissions by staying at home this Thanksgiving. Perhaps it is time to get to know your neighbors better and they can just walk over rather than parents or cousins flying or driving hours to get to you. Skype offers a fabulous and free option to be with your family on Thanksgiving without the added carbon emissions of a plane or a car. This is a truly difficult step to take if you only see your family once or twice a year due to distance, so please donít feel you need to follow all of these steps. Only choose those that fit your lifestyle and needs.

Fifth, plan ahead and know from your guests what they would like to eat and how much they will eat to estimate better how much food to make. Leftovers are great if you are sure you will actually eat them! Composting produce is another efficient way to recycle by returning produce to the earth to improve fertile soil toward the production of new vegetables or flowers. If you plan incorrectly and still end up with a whole turkey untouched, then bring it to a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen where you will again be truly showing some of the greenest values of all - compassion and generosity.

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