5 Tips for a Sustainable Thanksgiving

This is a guest post that I wrote for The MBA Hub blog for Portland State University.  Check them out if you are a student or are interested in what the Portland State University School of Business is up to.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful to live in the land of plenty!  Portland has so much to offer with its sustainably focused farmers and long growing season.  Here are 5 tips toward a more sustainable Thanksgiving:

1.)    Local Organically Grown Produce – Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes & Pumpkin Pie are all opportunities to buy local and pesticide free.  Support your farmers as we run to the end of the market season.  The Portland Farmers Market on campus is still open through December 18th, and many others are open year round.  Check out Local Harvest or USDA  farmer’s market database for your local farmers’ market availability.

2.)    Gobble Gobble –  If you aren’t having a vegetarian holiday, a Free Range Pasture Raised bird is the only way to go.  They have eaten all of the things that birds naturally eat instead of being confined and force-fed a diet of grain and antibiotics.  This varied diet makes a much tastier juicier bird, which has fertilized the land throughout its life.  You are definitely going to pay more, but once you try one of these birds you won’t go back.  You can really taste the value!  Oh, and don’t forget to use the drippings for gravy, and the carcass for turkey soup after the holiday.  Nothing should go to waste on this tasty bird!

3.)    Local Brews and Vino – Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to sample some of the seasonal microbrews available from your local brewmasters and to treat your guests to a bottle of local Willamette Valley wine.

4.)    Forget the Packaging and Preservatives – Try cooking from scratch this holiday.  Prepackaged foods come with a lot of extra packaging and are full of preservatives.  Bring your own containers to the store and buy your ingredients from the bulk bins.

5.)    Serve – Sustainability is all about making strong healthy communities.  Find some time this holiday season to help out in your community and give back.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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