Laura Turner Seydel‘Tis the season to count our many blessings, so this month, as you gather with family and friends, give thanks for the planet that has made it all possible by hosting an eco-friendly Thanksgiving.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 with a feast of seasonal and locally grown food, the true foundation of an eco-friendly holiday.  When creating your menu, consider organic recipes and shop for locally grown produce – this will ensure your meal is free of toxins and our air clear of any unnecessary carbon shipping emissions.  Georgia Organics ( is a great resource for finding local farmers markets and the best way to find the freshest ingredients for your meal.  When shopping, keep your guest list in mind and only buy enough food to feed those at your table.  Leftovers are always great, but often go to waste.

When designing your table choose eco-friendly tablecloths and avoid using disposable serving ware.   Centerpieces are always popular, but this year instead of flowers, choose a plant that can be later planted in your outdoor garden.  Or you can create an edible arrangement made from lush vegetables, lettuce and kale.  Not only will it be beautiful for your table, but the next day its elements can be added to your leftovers to make a brand new feast.  To complete your design, pick up a copy of Celebrate Green! by mother and daughter duo Corey Colwell-Lipson and Lynn Colwell, who give great tips and tricks for creating an eco-fabulous event!

Your eco-Thanksgiving is not over when then meal ends or the last football is thrown.  It’s important to incorporate “green” into your clean up as well.   Clean with non-toxic products, store leftovers in Tupperware instead of disposable plastic bags or tin foil, recycle your beer, wine, and soda bottles (check out for a list of everything you can recycle in Atlanta) and create a compost pile for organic waste.  The vegetables scraps, pumpkin decorations and even coffee grounds can be transformed into a great fertilizer that can help grow the very vegetables that will be at your next Thanksgiving meal.

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Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.