For many of us, Thanksgiving is all about traditions, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to start some new ones, in the name of saving the planet. Bring the kids on board and make a game out of creating a no-waste Thanksgiving. Take them with you to shop locally and organically , teaching them a thing or two about where their food comes from. Purchase compostable paper products—Seattle area waste removal allows composting of just about every food and food-soiled paper items. Enlist the kids’ help to create a hand-decorated organic linen tablecloth — just a simple one will keep the kids occupied and create a centerpiece to treasure. Next up, the meal itself. Plan to offer fewer, but more special choices—instead of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and rice, serve one traditional recipe passed down from a family member. Ensure that leftovers go to people who will use them. While the food is cooking, the kiddos can decorate glass jars or reusable containers that everyone can fill and take home.  If you are having a large gathering, suggest guests bring food donations for a local food bank. Still trying to plan a menu? Stores such as PCC, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s all stock ready-to-eat Thanksgiving dishes in small, no-waste portions.  An eco-friendly, health-oriented activity such as a nature walk, or tree-planting is a great way to finish out the day. For even more tips, check out Celebrate Green.

—Matina Fresenius