As Americans, we throw away an average of $165 billion in food every year. And about $293 million of that waste will happen during Thanksgiving — and that’s just for turkey alone, according to Market Watch.

In the spirit of giving and being grateful, Reverse Litter wants to encourage all of you to give back and be thankful for Mother Earth by reducing your waste during the Holidays, especially during Thanksgiving. Below are five ways in which you can help reduce waste and Reverse Litter in your home.

1. Plan Before You Shop

Before going grocery shopping, be sure you check your refrigerator and pantry for cutlery, plates, seasonings and other food items you can reuse for your feast and avoid buying duplicate products and ingredients. Carefully planning the quantities you actually need for a Thanksgiving meal is another good way to reduce waste. Sometimes, we tend to go overboard and purchase too many items we won’t use. We also recommend you purchase already-cut vegetables since these can actually eliminate food scraps and waste.

2. DIY Table Decor 

For the table, we encourage you to find ways to repurpose items you already have at home or make décor using recyclable materials. For example, you upcycle leaves you’ve raked to add to your napkins for a nice fall touch or reuse a vase and fill it with small pumpkins for a quick centerpiece. Check out this BuzzFeed article for more ideas.

3. During the Feast

Encourage self-service so that individuals can determine how much food they actually want and can come back for more. Also, consider buying a smaller turkey this year or putting smaller portions on the table and adding more as needed. This will avoid uneaten food ending up in the trash bin.

4. Leftovers

Hosts, please encourage your family members and friends to bring containers to take leftovers home. We also recommend you stay educated on food expiration and shelf life since this can eliminate the chance of food items going stale or expiring and, consequently, ending up in the trash. There are also plenty of ways to use leftovers creatively and effectively – from turkey sandwiches to soups for the whole weekend.

5. Compost

Instead of throwing out the vegetable peels, eggshells and other food scraps from making your meal, consider composting them. Individual composting systems can be relatively easy and inexpensive, and provide quality inputs for garden soils.

Let us know if you try any of these tips at home and be sure to share your picture with us using #ReverseLitter on social media. Happy Thanksgiving!

In the spirit of giving back to our loyal e-newslitter readers, Reverse Litter is launching our NEW video here first, exclusively for our subscribers. Please help us spread the word about our Litter-Free Programs and how we can all do our part in North Texas to help Reverse Litter in all of the communities we serve.