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A Sustainable & Low-Waste Thanksgiving

“Low-waste” describes an event or lifestyle that minimizes the waste that ends up in the environment. In other words, low-waste items should naturally biodegrade.

More than 14 million tons of polystyrene or styrofoam is produced every single year, much of this waste comes from social events. If even a small percentage of party planners switched over to compostable products, the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment and our landfills would be reduced significantly.

It’s important to learn how to organize a low-waste party—so that you can enjoy guilt-free fun with your loved ones. In this post, you’ll learn how to become a confident, low-waste party planner with 5 tips to incorporate into your next special event.

5 Tips for A Low-Waste Thanksgiving

Shop local produce

Skip trips to the grocery store, and instead, try shopping at your local produce stand, or Farmers Market. Local food doesn't have to travel as far to arrive on your plate, so it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improves our carbon footprint. It is also great for our local economy and supports local farmers, producers, and small businesses.


When considering your decorations, keep it minimal and use things that are either recyclable, compostable, or items you can up-cycle. Fall is a great time to forage and make use of local seasonal vegetables - create centerpieces featuring pumpkins and squash. Flowers and foliage also make great nature-inspired decorations, you can also make use of pinecones, acorns, and dried corn.

Skip the plastic & styrofoam

40 billion pieces of plastic cutlery are thrown away every year. Even if the cutlery is made from bioplastic, or considered recyclable - most end up in the landfills because they cannot be properly sorted and recycled at facilities. A great way to host a low-waste Thanksgiving dinner would be to consider birch cutlery which is 100% compostable.

When hosting your dinner party, provide guests with fully compostable tableware. Most single-use molded fiber tableware contains PFAs, which are linked to cancer. It is also considered a “forever chemical” which means it can accumulate in the environment and permeate food, air, soil, and water. Opt for plant fiber tableware that is guaranteed to be free of fluorinated chemicals. These natural materials are fully compostable and a great option to serve food on for your next party. Greenlid's 12-person compostable party pack is 100% biodegradable and compostable. Every item in this party pack is sustainably grown and made from compostable materials. These grown products replace plastic cutlery and styrofoam alternatives that take up to 500-1000 years to decompose in landfills and clog up our waterways.

Food Waste

Ask guests to bring their own reusable containers to dinner - that way if they can’t finish the food on their plate, they can pack it up for later. Or, if you have too many leftovers, guests can fill their containers to go.


Since paper towels can’t be recycled, switch to cloth napkins that can be washed to help reduce waste. A great option is also Greenlid’s Unbleached Recycled Paper Napkins. Our paper napkins are produced from post-consumer recycled paper and help eliminate the need for cutting down new trees and harvesting fresh materials. This process also creates a demand for the paper we recycle, thereby closing the recycling loop. We keep it natural! Our unbleached napkins require less energy to make and are less processed.

This Thanksgiving, be conscious of waste and sustainability. Making a few small changes over time, or incorporating new habits into your lifestyle can make an impact over time - especially during the holiday season.

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