This year I want to celebrate a green and light Thanksgiving, in a simple way. To give thanks you only need that; give thanks. I’ll give you some easy tips to follow so you can fully enjoy your night.

Keep it simple

Don’t feel like you have to amaze your friends and family with a gourmet magazine-worthy spread rife with exotic ingredients flown in from around the world. Nor is it necessary to provide a 6-course spread with choice of 14 side dishes. Most people aren’t looking for novel culinary fare on a day like this – they’ll be happy with traditional dishes that celebrate the bounty of the local harvest. Keeping it simple will also reduce the amount of electricity you use while cooking, which can be considerable on this holiday.


light thanksgivingBuy local

Many of the veggies you need for your side dishes probably grow within 100 miles of your home. Check out your local farmer’s market for fall goodies like squash, greens, potatoes, yams, pumpkins, and evergreen herbs like rosemary and sage. And don’t forget to check your local free-range farms for that centerpiece of the Thanksgiving piece, the turkey (unless you’re vegetarian, of course…).

Go vegetarian

If you’ve been thinking about trying out a vegetarian diet, Thanksgiving is actually a great time to do it. You’ll be amazed at how many options there are – you won’t even miss the turkey. Livestock put a huge strain on the planet, and factory farms do abominable things to those poor little animals before they end up on your plate. Check out vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes and meal ideas atVegWeb.com and The Veggie Table.


Serve organic beverages

Pick up some local libations if you’ve got nearby breweries and wineries, especially if you have guests coming into town – it’s a great way to show off regional specialties. If you don’t live near any craft beer or wine producers, pick up a few bottles of organic brew – there are dozens of varieties available at most health-food stores.

Use what you have

This is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to go green any day of the year, and it works on Thanksgiving, too. You don’t need fancy dishware – your regular tableware will do just fine. If you’re the Martha Stewart type and feel like everything must match perfectly, consider renting tableware, chairs and linens – it costs less than buying new.