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Decorate an eco-friendly Thanksgiving dinner table

By Recyclebank |
Find or create your own eco-friendly decorations to adorn your Thanksgiving dinner table this year to avoid buying new products for just a weekend's use.
This Thanksgiving, ditch the petroleum-based plastic and synthetic decorations and adorn your table with natural and homemade festive decor. By using natural products (and reusing what you already have), you'll decrease the demand for the production of new products and create less waste once the holiday is over.

How to decorate an eco-friendly Thanksgiving dinner table

Once you get creative, the options for homemade and eco-friendly Thanksgiving table decor are endless. Here are a few suggestions to get you started…

  • Candles: Set a reverent tone by lighting eco-friendly candles. The majority of the 1 billion pounds of wax used in candles each year in the US are made of hydrocarbons, which can be derived from non-renewable petroleum or animal fats. Soy, beeswax, and palm oil-based waxes are all made from natural, renewable materials. And, unlike paraffin candles, they won't release petro-carbon soot, which can contaminate ventilation ducts and add potential carcinogens to the air, when burned.
  • Centerpieces: Decorate with items found in nature to create an original and eco-friendly centerpiece. Once the meal is over, you can compost these decorations.
    • Use gourds, pumpkins, apples, and other edible items (locally and organically produced, if possible) that you can eat or compost once the night is over. If you can find a cone-shaped or cylindrical basket laying around the house or at a resale store, you can create a traditional Thanksgiving cornucopia with little to no waste. Or, use some extra supplies already in your kitchen to create a gourd turkey centerpiece.
    • Create a fruit basket centerpiece that guests can eat as part of the meal.
    • Gather leaves and branches from the backyard to create a natural, seasonal centerpiece.
    • If you have fall flowers in your yard, pick them, dry them, and arrange them with leaves to add color to your tablescape.
  • Napkins: Make your own cloth napkins from old clothes or sheets, or buy fabric made from organic cotton or renewable materials like bamboo or hemp.
  • Place cards: Use recycled construction paper to cut out Thanksgiving pilgrims or turkeys. The kids will love to help and you can use them as place cards at the dinner table or as decorations around the house. Once dinner is over, either save them for next year, or recycle the paper again.
  • Place card holders: Make name card holders out of pine cones for each place setting, and compost them when you're done.
  • Placemats: Create place mats by collecting fallen leaves and ironing them between two pieces of waxed paper.
  • Table cloth: Create a holiday table cloth using a bed sheet and non-toxic paint. If you use washable paint, you can even convert the table cloth back to a sheet after the holiday.
  • Another idea: Paint your dining room windows with non-toxic window paint to create a Thanksgiving mural that will wow your guests.
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