Sustainable Storage for Thanksgiving Leftovers
Celebrate your family's traditions while keeping the environment in mind with these simple steps on how to enjoy Thanksgiving the eco-friendly way.
Preparing for dinner
• When shopping for your Thanksgiving feast, remember to bring reusable shopping bags for each trip to the grocery and local market. Skip the produce bags (each vegetable doesn't need an individual plastic) and bring your own basket.
• At the supermarket, ask to have your meats (from the butcher) and cheeses (from the deli counter) wrapped in butcher paper when you order them, instead of taking a pre-wrapped Styrofoam package from the chiller.
• Planning a trip to the bulk foods store for all your pie-making needs? Bring your own reusable containers to fill up with, whether it's a clean flour sack, empty jar or stainless steel tin; most shops will gladly weigh your container for you.
At the table
• Set your Thanksgiving table with classic cloth dinner napkins - they're an easy way to dress up your table, and a few simple folds are all it takes to impress your guests!
When storing leftovers
Many of the best-enjoyed Thanksgiving feasts often have one thing in common - delicious leftovers! Ditch portable plastic containers for storing your turkey bounty, and opt for these eco-friendly storage solutions:
• Glass containers. Clear glass containers are now widely available with snap-on lids, making them your best bet for storing leftovers. Many retailers now carry containers with colourful, BPA-free leak-proof lids. Encourage your guests to bring their own if they have it -- plus, leftovers can also go from storage to heating and serving, all in the same glass container!
• Wide-mouth jars. Perfect for storing extra cranberry sauce, pumpkin soup or other delicious sides, wide-mouth jars are a great leftover storage solution. Try to build a collection of jars with different sizes, and keep an eye out for canning kits for jar variety (these serve the double purpose, too, of allowing you to preserve your own food).
• Aluminum foil vs plastic wrap. When storing turkey, it's best to de-bone and slice off serving-sized portions of meat before trying to stuff a half-carved turkey in the fridge. But when convenience takes over anyone's desire to carve on a full stomach, wrap your bird in aluminum foil, as these can at least be recycled.
Ecoholic Home by Adria Vasil (Vintage Canada, 2009)