Serve up an eco-friendly Thanksgiving with 'green' dinner table

So by now you've likely got your Thanksgiving Day menu all planned out. The pies and cranberry sauce are made and the turkey is thawing in the refrigerator.

But what about the dinner table?

With all of the hustle and bustle of serving the dinner and entertaining friends and family, recycling and being eco-friendly can sometimes take to the back burner. Here are some tips to help you "green-up" your Turkey Day.

• If you have yet to buy your turkey, consider buying organic or one that has been locally raised. One place in Rochester to look is at the Good Food store, which also carries local produce that can be incorporated into the holiday menu if you still have some grocery items left to pick up.

• When it comes to the centerpiece, consider finding recycled elements to make something festive. Or try decorating with small pumpkins, squashes, acorns and gourds.


• Use washable cloth napkins and table cloths rather than paper.

• Save on some electric energy and light the table with soy candles.

• Don't be tempted to use plastic utensils or paper plates to save on after-dinner cleaning. Create less waste by using silverware and serving dishes rather than disposable. Ask guests to help with cleanup after.

• Commit to recycling. Whatever paper, plastic, aluminum and glass you do use, be sure to recycle it after. Set out recycling bins to remind guests to do the same.

• If you have a compost bin, add your Thanksgiving Day food scraps to it rather than throwing them away.

• After the meal, resist the urge to turn on the TV and just melt on the couch for the rest of the day. Consider bringing out some games and cards and have social time with your guests. Or go outside and take a walk to burn of some of those extra calories.

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