Traditionally an all American celebration but we, across the pond, are now starting to see it as the start of the final countdown to Christmas. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving Thursday, is generally the day when our American cousins start their Christmas shopping and when all the high street and online stores start their Christmas gift promotion sales. The origins of Thanksgiving are thought to date back to 1621 when it started as a 3-day festival to celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year.
As with many celebrations, it has all become a bit over-commercialised and "disposable". If you're having a Thanksgiving celebration, discover here how to give it a more environmentally conscious meaning - with some principles that you can carry over to your Christmas dining table and maybe even some good, long-lasting habits.
Photo featuring: Kingsbridge Industrial Reclaimed Oak Dining Table
A reclaimed wood dining table is a great start, this will give you a great foundation for your sustainable Thanksgiving celebration, consider an extendable table if you like to entertain a lot. Although celebrations may be a bit more subdued than normal this year, a wooden bench is a great way to fit more people around your table for years to come. Not only that but they are also right on trend and look gorgeous dressed with cushions to sit on or a small throw. Start a sustainable theme in your home now and beyond, and invest in reclaimed wood furniture next time you need to replace a piece of furniture.
Keep the look rustic with your table decorations - use gourds rather than plastic or throwaway decorations - these will give your rustic table an earthy look and will be completely in keeping with the time of year and the harvest origins of the celebration. Think also about decorating other pieces in your dining space, such as a reclaimed wood sideboard.
There are many ways to incorporate nature into your table setting - autumnal leaves and twigs in a vase look great. The beauty of natural decorations is that they can be easily sourced outside and are fully compostable when finished with.
Even for large gatherings, you don't need tonnes of different serving dishes. This is another area that you can purchase a few good quality versatile dishes that will work as well for your autumnal Thanksgiving table setting as they will for a summer barbecue. Table linen is another area where you can embrace sustainability, use a crisp white linen table cloth and add a runner and linen napkins in one or two coordinating earthy colours - this will give your table a much more polished feel than cheap throwaway serviettes.
Try to purchase locally grown organic food from farm shops - this will help support local small businesses and have less impact on the environment as very few chemicals are used in growing organic crops. This is, after all, a celebration of the local harvest! You can also extend this to the drinks you serve by purchasing local or organic wine in recycled glass bottles and avoiding soft drinks in plastic bottles. Try to reduce food waste. Many of us hugely overestimate how much food we need to put on the table so make a little less food. You can also ask your dinner guests if they want to take any leftover food home with them.... to save it just ending up in the bin. Any biodegradable food waste and vegetable pairings can be composted.