Thanksgiving is the holiday that focuses on being thankful for the people we have sitting around our table and for all the food on it. But every year, over 200-million pounds of turkey goes to waste after the feast, according to theNatural Resources Defence Council. They explain that meat represents “a carbon footprint equal to that of 800,000 cars driving from Los Angeles to Florida.” So if you want to cut back on the amount of food that gets tossed from your Thanksgiving table, planning ahead and using these tips can help.
- Figure out how much food you’ll really need- This handy calculator called theGuest-imatorcan help you plan more accurately.
- Delegate- Ask guests to bring something so you won’t feel the need to overcook.
- Make pickles- Use surplus veggies like onions, carrots, cucumbers and cauliflower to make homemade pickles.
- Change up the menu- Sometimes we get stuck on classic dishes for Thanksgiving that we feel like we need to make, but no one really loves them. If you always have pumpkin pie left because no one eats it, skip it and make something crowd-pleasing and new this year.
- Make stock right away- After dinner, get your stock pot going and use the turkey carcass bits and vegetable scraps to make stock.
- Share the wealth- Tell guests to bring reusable containers so they can take home some leftovers and you’re not left with an amount of food you’ll never be able to finish.
- Find recipes that use leftover Thanksgiving ingredients- Aside from shepherd’s pie, pot pie, and soups, pasta and frittatas can help you use up all your turkey dinner leftovers.