How to Have a Greener Thanksgiving and Christmas…


I do think that the tide is turning…I also think that we should nurture our young and encourage their ideas as there are so many young people who have discovered ways to help the environment and I am not talking about those who skip school and carry placards but still carry the latest phones and wear the latest fashions without a thought about how those actions hurt the environment, how much of that cannot be recycled and how much of that is produced using child labour instead they are intent on telling us to turn vegan/vegetarian and ditch the transport… Except of course when we are joining the other traffic as we drop them at school or college having picked their friends up on the way…

I live in the real world I know some transport is essential, I know some local transport isn’t as good and cheap as what it is where I live…I also don’t have to get children to school, to their activities and then go to work, come home and cook dinner…Oh, there is also shopping and cleaning…

I could go on but I won’t I will spare you that and rely on the fact that you also have active imaginations and can fill in any gaps.

Change needs to happen in our homes…our shopping habits…

Eating produce in season …Why? Because produce which is eaten at the height of its season, and close to where it was grown, usually tastes better — juicier, more flavourful, fresher.

Research also shows seasonal food can be more nutritious than food consumed out of season, and purchasing from local farms supports the local economy and requires less storage time and travel, which is better for the environment.

Of course, all you lucky people who live in Northern Climes have a glut of beautiful local fruits and vegetables which are typical Thanksgiving and Christmas fare…Luckily Brussels sprouts are grown in the colder North of Thailand but vegetables like parsnips and swede are imported and horrendous prices and that is without taking into account their carbon footprint…

Yes, I can get beautiful young strawberries around Christmas sweet and lovely …so it is swings and roundabouts …Most Christmases I get root vegetables but this year because of this blessed virus there will be no visitors to bring me parsnips, celeriac and swede…BUT I would much rather everyone stayed safe and well so will have to live with what I can get locally…

Advent Calendars there are lovely reusable wooden ones or you could make your own…or make a book I think this one is lovely and so personal…

Thinking about gifts you’re going to buy for Christmas, consider what kind of presents may be more long-lasting than others, and thus reduce the risk of simply being discarded after a short while.

This year due to all the lockdowns and restrictions we all have more time and I think this is beautiful for any age and a keeper…

Thoughtful, long-lasting presents may include a photo album, a plant or something the recipient has specifically said they want and is likely to use time and time again….Homemade cakes, puddings or sweets are always something a loved one would be happy to receive…

Alternatively, you could buy an experience rather than a material thing for Christmas, such as a trip to the theatre. A fun memory is a present that can last a lifetime, after all…it will also help the theatres once this Covid is over as many of them are struggling and it helps us in quarantine a thoughtful gift and knowing that we have something to look forward to …

This video which Tori who has supported me unfailingly throughout the year sent me the link to is worth a look as it suggests ways we can have a greener Christmas…Thank you Tori xxx Tori has also written some great kiddies books..If you still need stocking fillers then please visit her Amazon link 


All the items we have in our homes and would be likely to throw away… some really cool ideas… I love the seed idea and snowflakes…

It is also no secret that I love music...It warmed my heart that Coldplay has taken a stand and won’t tour again until they can ensure that their concerts are “actively beneficial” for the environment.

Frontman Chris Martin told BBC News that the band would be “disappointed” if their next tour is not carbon neutral.

Of course, they have made their millions and don’t need to tour again and that puts them in a fortunate position that they are able to call the shots…So fair play to them as it will pave the way forward …I think it is a great move…

It will make the concert promoters more aware and they think in $ and £’s so it is in their best interest to look at plastic and solar power…

Chris Martin said “All of us have to work out the best way of doing our job,”  telling the BBC that the group wants future tours to “have a positive impact.”

It is true as we know we all have to play a part however small it is just like a jigsaw …Lots of small pieces make a bigger picture…

Be wary of your Christmas tree’s carbon footprint…

While some may assume that purchasing a plastic tree would be a more environmentally friendly alternative to buying a real one, this isn’t necessarily the case.

The Carbon Trust outlines that a real Christmas tree has a “significantly lower” carbon footprint than an artificial tree, especially if it is thrown away in a responsible way.

According to the organisation, a natural 2m Christmas tree that does not have roots and is disposed of in a landfill produces a carbon footprint of approximately 16kg of CO2.

I just think a lovely fresh tree or when you are on one of your walks look for any broken branches or a nice piece of wood and just simply dressed with a few lights or some holly or mistletoe it can beautiful…I just think however nice an artificial tree is they are not so cosy and warming as a real one…I have explained that very well just to me it just feels better…if that makes sense…A pressie wrapped in brown paper and tied with string just seems right and proper a real Christmas……

A 2m tree that has roots and is responsibly thrown away after being used at Christmas – by burning it on a bonfire, planting it or having it chipped – has a carbon footprint of around 3.5kg of CO2.

Meanwhile, a 2m plastic Christmas tree has a carbon footprint of around 40kg of CO2, more than 10 times greater than a properly disposed-of real tree.

To read more about the environmental impact of real and artificial Christmas trees, click here.

Did you know? 

Turkey…It is estimated that 10 million turkeys were consumed last Christmas. This also means over 3,000 tonnes of turkey packaging was being used.

Taking this into account, 125,000 tonnes of plastic wrapping used for food will also be discarded over the festive period.

Christmas puddings… the majority of which will be packaged in some form of plastic and cardboard packaging…Last year the UK alone ate 25 million.

Mince pies…Brits eat 175 million…

Mince pies

Putting this in perspective, 1 million mince pie cases equates to 1 tonne of aluminium material.

Just these three festive food items…Conjure up in my mind a staggering amount of waste…

The Solution…

Well…The Christmas pudding and mince pies are easily solvable...Cook from scratch and make your own…No packaging required…If you know someone who can’t or doesn’t cook…Make them some and put them in a pretty container…That is their Christmas present sorted…They will love it!

Turkey… If you buy fresh and local… packaging should be at a minimum just some butchers paper…I know not everyone can do that…However, if you are making your own mince pies and puddings/cake…Be pleased with that reduction in waste and it gives you a whole year to think about next year’s turkey…xx

Turn your recyclables into decorations

Rather than buying decorations, get creative with your recyclables. Vodka bottles, wine bottles and even beer bottles can easily be repurposed as table decorations and candle-holders. You can make origami using old Christmas Cards.

Please share your stories on how you plan to reduce your home’s waste at Christmas we would love to hear them…xx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our own home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system


Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx

37 thoughts on “How to Have a Greener Thanksgiving and Christmas…

  1. Kally

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

    “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie


  2. D. Wallace Peach

    Great ideas for a greener Christmas, Carol. We’re lucky in that we cut our trees locally, eat a locally grown goose, and do all our own baking. We’ve also started wrapping Christmas presents in colorful fabric that we reuse year to year. All the grown-ups in our family get donations to Heifer in their name… only the grandchildren get “stuff” and unfortunately there’s packaging involved. And sometimes lots of it. *Sigh* Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Diana and well done on your greener Christmas…I know about packaging its Lily’s birthday today but we reuse paper and boxes where we can but with kids it is sometimes a little unavoidable…sigh… Have a great weekend , Diana xx

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen

    A really nice article Carol! I’m glad you mentioned the Christmas trees. Here in Vermont, it’s an important agricultural “crop” that keeps land out of development and growing beautiful evergreens. We have Merry Mulch projects in most of our larger towns. When we lived out in the country, we decorated the tree with suet for the birds and placed it back in the woods to return to the earth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Dorothy..thats lovely to hear about the trees and I love the idea of suet for the birds especially in winter… we always planted our tree back or my dad did ready for the next year until it was too big and then we started again with a smaller one 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim Borden

    so much useful and entertaining information. Love the advent calendar video, and great news from Coldplay. We bought an artificial tree about 10 years ago, but after reading this, I think I want to go back to a real one…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Nothing beats a real tree for me, Jim… I also love that advent calendar and Coldplay are luckily in the position to call the shots as are many artists….


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  7. Lingo in Transit

    Great ideas to keep in mind on reducing waste this Christmas. I really liked that youtube video you linked of the wine bottle decorations. It’ll be a very different Christmas for many people but hoping people can still be around (or via calls) with friends and family.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. petespringerauthor

    I think it’s quite impressive that Coldplay is thinking about their opportunity to use their celebrity status to do something constructive for the world. The possible impact it could have, especially on the younger generation, could be significant.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. koolkosherkitchen

    Invaluable advice, dear Carol, and very timely, too. Our local Aldi has started packaging some veggies in recyclable clear plastic trays, instead of styrofoam. The trays are so lovely that I am saving them and reusing them as serving dishes for salads and pickles for just the two of us. Can’t wait for Covid to be over, to have a houseful of guests and serve all my appetizers in these trays.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Good for them I do think more and more companies are taking note of what the consumer wants for the good of the environment…and you some lovely serving dishes…win , win…Yes, it will be lovely to be back to normal. Dolly not sure it will be in time for Christmas for many around the world though but better to be safe than sorry 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. koolkosherkitchen

        It is a bit sad for me today because it’s our anniversary, and even though my husband went out of his way to make it special for me, but it was just the two of us. Last year we had a full house of guests, and a Mexican Fiesta buffet style dinner, and several people brought guitars, and myself and a couple of friends took turns at the piano, and it was so much fun! Thanksgiving is going to be just as lonely, and Chanukkah with grandkids on the screen…


      2. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Happy Anniversary to you both I wish you good health and many more years together…It is sad as I haven’t had the planned visits from my children this year although I am lucky to have my son and his children here Christmas will be quieter but it is safety and there is next year hopefully…something to look forward to…It will be my birthday September and I will be 70 so we have planned(tentatively) a big party in Koh Samui but I just hope travel is back to normal by then…at this rate with so many flouting quarantines etc who knows 🙂 x

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