1. BUY LOCAL: Visit your local community garden, meet your farmer, and purchase fresh produce that will surely make your meal a better tasting one.
a. Want a CHALLENGE? Try integrating one or several types of endangered species into your menu such as: Hauer Pippen Apples or Algonquin Squash; both of which are becoming more scarce by the year.
2. SCRAP IT UP: Make sure to set aside a compost bin in your kitchen so that you can reduce your waste. Remember that almost anything can go into your compost, however if you want to reduce the amount of critters, stay away from animal products or sugary substances such as meat and cranberry sauce-drenched leftovers.
a. Want a CHALLENGE? Nurse your compost into mulch and add it to your personal garden. Although it may take some time to get your perfect compost recipe, you will be an expert by next thanksgiving—maybe by then you can use some of your homegrown vegetables for dinner!
3. SAY NO TO GMO: You may have more in your average turkey or ham than just meat. If you do not specifically get an organic turkey or ham, you may run the risk of indirectly consuming GMO corn & soy that was previously ingested by the turkey.
a. Want a CHALLENGE? Try a meatless Thanksgiving and plump up your menu with other creative meatless dishes. Try Barbecued or Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianbarbecuerecipes/r/bbqsquash.htm.
4. GIVE OIL A BREAK: When disposing of your excess cooking oil and butter, remember to not pour it down the drain in order to avoid clogged pipes. Wait until it cools, then package it up and recycle it for free during Davis’ weekly hazardous waste days: http://archive.cityofdavis.org/pw/recycle/HHW_dropoff.cfm
a. Want a CHALLENGE? Instead of deep-frying that turkey, consider baking it in your oven. If you use cooking oil for other dishes, consider using non-GMO alternatives such as olive oil or grapeseed oil.
5. SET THE MOOD: We all know how long company can stay over during the holidays, which means our energy bill goes up. Try dim lighting and candles to set the mood and continue this habit until your loved ones head back home. It may save you a penny or so
a. Want a CHALLENGE? Look back on your energy bill from last year and aim to lower your consumption.
6. WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T THROW IT OUT: Leftovers can be used in a variety of ways, everyone knows about “mom’s infamous 3-week long post-thanksgiving turkey sandwiches”, but now is the time to think of creative ways to spice up your leftovers. http://www.foodnetwork.com/thanksgiving-leftovers/package/index.html
a. Want a CHALLENGE? If you have any unopened packaged leftovers, consider donating them to your local Soup Kitchen. If you are feeling generous enough, why not participate in a STEAC drive and sponsor a family in your area? http://steac.org/food-drives.php
Have a safe, sustainable, and happy Thanksgiving.
Your Talbott Team