Thanksgiving is a meal that can be excessive, but there are ways you can make the holiday less wasteful, starting with the shopping.
“Turkey is, like, the mainstay of most Thanksgivings. This year, we opted to go with a local farm-to-table community source. I think it was like $8 more than what I would get from a grocery store,” said Matt Bertulli, the co-founder and CEO of Pela, a company focused on creating a waste-free future.
He says with a local turkey, there's less packaging, and it doesn't have to travel as far to get to you.
If you're picking up your meal to-go, Bertulli says to be sure to order the right amount of food.
“I did this last year. I way over-ordered for Christmas dinner. It was my wife, myself, and my 6-year-old daughter,” said Bertulli. “And I'm like, ‘Why did we buy so much food?’ Like, we were so used to ordering the same amount every year ‘cause we typically have family over that I didn't even stop to think that there were only three of us at this dinner.”
Composting can turn your Thanksgiving food scraps into material you can spread on your lawn or garden.
Pela created a device called Lomi to make composting easier and more accessible. It fits on your countertop and starts the composting process with the push of a button.
If that still feels out of reach, Bertulli says at least try to recycle what you can. He says cardboard and metal are easier to recycle than plastic.
But no matter what you recycle, make sure you wash it and the labels are peeled off.
“You want to have as clean a waste stream as possible leaving your home. It sounds like a bit of a pain, but if you do want something to be recycled, it needs to be clean,” said Bertulli.
Always check with your city or town for specific recycling rules.