It should come as no surprise that one of our favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. You can’t go wrong with a grand feast shared and enjoyed with family and friends. With the right planning, even the most extravagant Thanksgiving meal can be pulled off in a way that’s waste-free and environmentally friendly. 

As we race towards the holiday season, we thought we’d share a few key tips on how we’re planning to have an eco-friendly Thanksgiving dinner.

Start with a plan 

Start with a plan & a shopping list

Give yourself enough time to plan out your menu. Scale back if possible as it’s easy to get caught up in the “feast factor” and go overboard with trying to do too much. A helpful rule of thumb for per person serving sizes are: 

  • Proteins: 4–8 oz. (½ cup–1cup)
  • Starches: 4–8 oz.
  • Vegetables: 4–6 oz.

Make sure you’re buying only what you need. Before heading to the grocery store, take an inventory of what you already have, like spices and flour. 

Focus on dishes that let the quality of the ingredients shine. There is beauty in simplicity! 

Practical can be Delicious

Cadence kitchen’s Mediterranean Vegetable Medley

If you’re looking for a few more additions that are convenient time-savers and waste-free, Cadence Kitchen has you covered! Our juicy marsala meatballs would go great as an appetizer. Try our creamy mac & cheese recipes as is, or make bite-sized macaroni cheese balls with them. We’d also recommend adding a little Spanish influence with our “tapas” inspired patatas bravas, which use our delicious roasted potatoes. If you’re looking for more recipes, be sure to check out us out on social.

Support your Community

Friends buying fresh tomatoes at a farmers market

Speaking of celebrating the flavors of your ingredients, shop local if possible. You can’t beat the flavor and quality of produce found at your neighborhood farmer’s market. Ask vendors what seasonal items they recommend. They may even have a recipe to share! 

Deliciousness aside, the nutritional and environmental benefits of shopping local are profound. You won’t have to worry about GMOs or pesticides and the local factor goes a long way in reducing your carbon footprint, all while supporting local businesses.

Consider donating a meal to a family in need. Reach out to a local shelter to see if they are accepting donations.

Enjoy the Leftovers  

Turkey breast sandwich

Leftovers are inevitably a delicious part of the Thanksgiving aftermath. Make sure you have Tupperware ready for care packages at the end of the night. Use beeswax cloth bowl covers for leftovers instead of tin foil. These are a fantastic addition to any kitchen and also can be used to wrap cheeses and other perishables. If you are a guest, bring your own containers from home to simplify the process. 

Turkey bones can be used to make a healthy bone broth. Leftovers can also be used to make new economic and tasty meals to be enjoyed in the following days. 

If you don’t already compost, consider giving it a shot. Have a compost bin labeled and ready for food scraps. You can also check your local compost collection point.


We hope that these simple tips serve as a helpful guide towards making your Thanksgiving as waste-free as possible. Never before has it been so easy to celebrate this holiday in a way that also serves the health of our environment. 

If you have any tips to share, we’d love to hear from you. Be sure to tag us to share your waste-free Thanksgiving with us!

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