24 - 2008

Making green preparations for Thanksgiving

We are going to be hosting Thanksgiving this week, and yesterday, we were at ye olde Bed Bath & Beyond again, looking for some tray tables.

Tray tables are exactly the kind of purchase I love to hate … too expensive and not attractive, but I know we will get a lot of use out of them. We have been looking at secondhand stores for probably a year, so we threw in the towel and bought new. I did price compare online, and BBB had the best deal, especially with the 20% off coupon thrown in. (We also bought a Christmas gift, and yes, they allowed us to use multiple coupons!)

The store, of course, was a madhouse yesterday! Per square foot, it was more crowded than Costco, where we also stopped yesterday.

The holidays are coming, and many Americans feel the temptation to buy all new things and decorate so life is beautiful. Our household is in no way exempt from this desire.

But when I looked at napkin rings and saw that many of them cost $5 to $10 each … for inexpensive pieces made in China or India … I thought that we can surely do better. I took a breath, moved away from the beautiful luxuries, and thought about what I can do at home.

First, I took a second look at this article about bringing a green spirit to Thanksgiving. (Full disclosure: The Green Parent published the article from a news release I helped a client write and distribute.) I have been thinking about centerpiece ideas, and I think the idea about using autumn items to craft a centerpiece is a great one. Besides, it will give us something to do during commercials.

When we talked about napkin rings, we realized we are swimming in beads and wire. I’m hoping Little Cheap will sit down and work with us to make some napkin rings to decorate the tables. If you are crafty, you could knit some napkin rings from yarn, or get uber-crafty with wire and beads.

As for napkins, check out discount stores for cloth napkins if you haven’t got any. We received napkins years ago for Christmas, and we’ve updated our stash, each year or two demoting the fanciest to “daily” because we aren’t fanatical about getting out stains. I saw this article, too, where comments mentioned stitching worn-out sheets (the nice parts, obviously) into formal napkins.

For other items — from candle holders to serving dishes to that extra ottoman — check out your local secondhand store first to see if you can recycle something. Sure, you might still have to buy something new, like our tray tables, but at least it’s worth a try to save a few bucks and a tree.

How are you planning to have a greener Thanksgiving?

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