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The holiday season is upon us, and Thanksgiving is less than a week away. While some of your friends might be gearing up for a Turkey Trot or flying to the Caribbean for a 4-day getaway, you might just be hosting a good old-fashioned family gathering. Here are some tips for making your Thanksgiving Day a little more environmentally responsible.

DECORATIONS:  If you want to festoon your hallways with knickknacks, use the beauty of nature itself to do the work for you. Step outside and gather acorns, leaves and stones to use as table setters, and avoid buying plastic decorations that you don’t need. This also extends to things like cups and plates; there’s a certain joy in knowing that you’ve used the same cutlery over the years on Thanksgiving, and you won’t be creating a landfill in the process. Recycle. Reuse. Recycle. Reuse. That’s something we can all be thankful for.

TRAVEL: Thanksgiving, for all its non-denominational glory, is the busiest time of the year for traveling. People are taking trains, buses, cars, and maybe even unicycles all across the country to make it to the gathering on time. Make sure that if you are going to a different location for the holiday, be efficient on the roads. Carpool if you can, and minimize carbon emissions by driving at a steady pace and not constantly stopping and starting.

FOOD: What are you cooking this year? We know the turkey is in the picture, but what are your sides? Carrots, mashed potatoes, or caramelized brussel sprouts? Doesn’t matter – it’s all delicious. Try and buy organic, local foods: nearby farmers and markets will benefit and buying organic reduces the amount of toxic chemicals released into our environment.

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and reflecting. Take time to give back to Mother Nature and reflect on how you can help her stay strong.

(Feel free to check out TODAY’s Thanksgiving coverage for recipes, stories and more here)