How to Compost and Reinvent Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Source: via Anne on Pinterest


Thanksgiving is just 2 weeks away! There is one thing about any Thanksgiving that just doesn’t change, whether you will be spending the holiday with your family, friends or maybe just your sweetie. Maybe you go traditional with turkey, stuffing and all the fixings while some will go a more modern route with lasagna, tofu-turkey or lamb! One thing though I have found is a constant at any Thanksgiving meal is that there will be TONS of food.

When preparing your feast don’t just toss scraps into the trash, think about what can be composted and returned to the earth. Here is our list of the top things to compost and not to compost this Thanksgiving.

OK to compost:
Egg shells
coffee grounds
Bread, crackers or anything mainly made from flour
herbs or spices

Never compost:
Dairy- butter, cheese, yogurt, milk
Fat, lard

Large Thanksgiving feasts also come with lots of leftovers. Some of these table scraps can go straight into the compost such as your dinner rolls, salad (minus the dressing), fruit salad, steamed veggies, and cranberry sauce.

If in your area temperatures have dropped far enough that your compost has gone dormant for the season a vermicomposter might be a good solution. Vermicomposting uses red worms to quickly break down the food waste eliminating odors. Another bonus is that you can compost with worms year round since the system is easily stored indoors, perfect for the mudroom, laundry room, basement or garage.

Now what about all the good leftovers, such as that turkey and mashed potatoes. It’s important to remember not to let the leftovers sit on the counter from lunch until dinner. Pack away all the leftovers within two hours of eating to avoid growing bacteria. Also, after 4 days it should be eaten or tossed.

from lisaroy

Here are a few of our favorite ways to reinvent Thanksgiving leftovers from across the web.

Mashed Potato Puffs from thekitchn

Turkey Salad with Cranberry Dressing from Southern Living

Cranberry Sauce Muffins from Two Peas and Their Pod

Thanksgiving Leftover Shepherd’s Pie from Martha Stewart

Ham and Cheese Sliders with Poppy Seed Sauce from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Sweet Potato and Turkey Empanadas from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen

Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo from Paula Deen

Individual Turkey Pot Pie from lisaroy


Extra Tip- To make your Thanksgiving even more eco-friendly, don’t forget to set out a separate bin to collect beer bottles, soda cans, boxes and more for recycling!


How do you reduce, reuse and recycle during Thanksgiving?

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