May 3, 2012By Russ


In my continued effort to become more and more green, I thought I would find ways to make this Thanksgiving as environmentally friendly as possible. My intentions were good when I walked out the door to hit up Whole Foods the morning before the big day, but halfway there I realized I had forgotten my reusable bags. You know, the ones that I set next to the front door so I won’t EVER forget them. Those are the ones I forgot. Did I beat myself up? Well, yes, to be honest I did, but only for about another mile. Then, soon after, I decided I would simply have to incorporate the paper bags I knew I would be getting from the store into my holiday set-up in an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Homemade compostable place mats

I got home with all of my organic goodies and started to prep a feast fit for kings, all the while thinking about what I could do with all those damn paper bags. This year I made Thanksgiving dinner super easy on myself by purchasing a pre-cooked organic and free-range turkey. All I had to do was warm it up and brown it on Thanksgiving day. I also made my famous whipped sweet potatoes, homemade stuffing using our very own homemade bread, a yummy salad, and some homemade dinner rolls. The food was very environmentally friendly and healthy…but what to do with those damn bags?!

As I started organizing my place settings, it hit me. Place mats! I could use some new ones to give my table a fresh look. So, I decided to use the bags to weave together some unique and rustic-looking placemats. I’ve seen ones woven out of fabric or even sticks, but as you know, I had bags I needed to use! It only took me about an hour to do four, and it was fun for Noble to help out too! Okay, that last part was a lie. Noble was in a Lego building mood and wanted nothing to do with my project, but I am sure if I had caught him an hour earlier things would have

At least he hung out with me while I did all the work.

been very different, or maybe if he was a girl. Anyway, back to the story. I did my weaving and didn’t stop there. I then quickly folded together a cute wrap-around for a vase I already had and tied it with some ribbon I had saved from something else. I then went into the back yard and grabbed some of our fresh rosemary and lavender and set about making my centerpiece, and completed it all with reusable cloth napkins.

In the end, it all looked beautiful and was a 100% organic and waste-free Thanksgiving! I encourage you to try the same for your next get together. The things I made and the fact that the dinner was environmentally friendly also made for some great meal time discussions as well.

Our sustainable table (used extra rosemary, tied with a piece of paper bag, to decorate the plate)


What do you think?

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