Consider low-impact options for food, flowers and décor this Thanksgiving holiday.


AS YOU prepare to carve the turkey and perfect your grandmother’s pumpkin pie recipe, consider low-impact options for food and décor this Thanksgiving holiday.

Support local farms and an American farming tradition by purchasing a heritage turkey, the ancestor of the common industrial breed sold in most grocery stores today. Since the 1960s, turkeys largely have been bred to produce more breast meat in less time — often at the expense of flavor and the well-being of the birds. Traditional heritage varieties are hardy, resilient birds that naturally carry more dark meat. Visit for more information. Order one at or find them at local grocery stores, including Metropolitan Market and Whole Foods.

Try to buy your Thanksgiving sweet potatoes, squash, fruit preserves and green beans from local growers. Visit a year-round farmers market or look for signs indicating locally sourced veggies in the produce aisle at your favorite grocery. Check out to search for stores, farmers markets and farms in your area that offer sustainably grown, organic food.

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If your dinner crowd maxes out the ceramic dishware in your cupboards, go for compostable or recyclable dishes. VerTerra makes a selection of plates, serving dishes and bowls from fallen leaves and water. The dishes can withstand heat, and are compostable and biodegradable;

Save time on after-dinner cleanup by setting your table with bamboo cutlery. The utensils can be composted or washed and reused, and they are free of dyes, chemicals and pesticides. Bamboo, a renewable resource, is strong, making it perfect for slicing turkey meat. Visit and search for “bamboo cutlery.”

Wipe the gravy from your lips with organic cotton napkins from Fiberactive Organics. The napkins are hand-dyed and come in a variety of bright and subtle colors. Simply wash them in cold water and iron away press out any wrinkles with a hot iron; More information: is at

Go for a simple, elegant Thanksgiving table that features ceramic candleholders made with recycled glass. Paloma Pottery, near Bellingham, offers pottery-wheel-thrown taper candleholders, votive bases and wall sconce holders. Each piece is handcrafted with bottle and jar glass that is crushed into small pieces and infused into the pottery. See

Michelle Ma is a Seattle-based freelance writer. She works for Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall.