Late last night while I was working on sewing my girls' stocking (yes, they are going to share one this year...hey...it's an improvement on the "no stockings" of last year. They take a while), I was watching Conan O'Brien. During part of his opening bit, he mentioned that every Thanksgiving, Americans THROW AWAY $282 MILLION in uneaten turkey! That is nuts! Apparently that works out to be over 250 million lbs. This doesn't even include extra stuffing, cranberry, potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, etc that are tossed out. My brain nearly exploded when I heard that; it got me to thinking...and thus:
5 Alternatives to Throwing Out Thanksgiving Extras
1. The simplest of them all...BUY LESS! If you are just going to throw it out, don't buy it! And with the extra money that you aren't spending on excess, think about upgrading to an Organic or even a Pastured turkey! It is a little more expensive, but it is healthier for you and healthier for the planet! And you're buying fewer pounds anyway, right?!
2. Send your guests home with leftovers! No need to hoard it all yourself. ;) Ask your guests to bring a "to go" container with them and send them home with a bit of turkey love.
3. Be creative with leftovers. Don't just reheat the same ol' Thanksgiving meal over and again. Sure, that is bound to get boring. Re-invent it. Of course, there is the obvious turkey sammy for lunch. Make it into soup. Add the meat to a casserole. Make a breakfast bake. A salad. A pot pie. A quick "Thanksgiving leftover recipes" google search will yield tons of ideas!
4. Donate it. Contact a local shelter and see if they are accepting donations. After Nolan's first birthday, we had a ludicrous amount of sub sandwiches left, so we called up a shelter and they took them off our hands happily!
5. This is probably my favorite - package up some leftovers and truck them into town (or down the street...or wherever) and offer them to the homeless. Take your kids with you and teach them about generosity, taking care of others who are less fortunate and how important it is to treat everyone with kindness and dignity. :)