The best friend on earth of man is the tree: when we use the tree respectfully and economically we have one of the greatest resources of the earth.
Thanksgiving can be fancy, but it need not be fussy.
With a little ingenuity, you can use natural, recovered and upcycled items to create a lovely and sustainable Thanksgiving table. The first place to turn is your own backyard.
Take a look at what will soon become yard debris and consider those items for a table centerpiece or door wreath. Late-season flowers and grasses, as well as evergreen shrub clippings, can be blended to make a striking centerpiece.
Along those same lines, be sure to include some of “nature’s discards.”
For instance, you can create a natural table runner from fallen leaves, dropped branches and acorns, intermixed with tea candles. For best results, press the leaves in a book for a few days prior to display. And why not get your guests involved in the display? Ask them to fill out colorful cards with things they’re thankful for and attach the cards to the branches.
A Place for Place Cards
Another option is decorative place cards. The folks at Whole Foods offer a fun and sustainable way to adorn your Thanksgiving table:
• Gather some large, pretty leaves from the yard and some store-bought hard fruits or vegetables, like lady apples, mini pumpkins or baby pears.
• Glue the fruit to the leaf with hot glue.
• Cut a small slit in the fruit and insert the place card. You can embellish by gluing on acorns, small cones, flowers, berries, etc.
Too Late for That
If your yard is already under a foot of snow (which just might happen in western Wyoming), nature might not have much to offer you. In that case, you’ll need to get a little crafty.
Upcycling guru Danny Seo has a couple of suggestions:
• Create napkins from a pair of jeans picked up at Goodwill. They can be decorated to look surprisingly sophisticated. Check out this video to see how to do it:
• If you’d like to to get the kids involved, create some sustainable turkey placemarkers with just a few potatoes and some crayons.
Of course, candles are a mainstay to any Thanksgiving table. For a simple yet elegant display, fit two white tapered candles into used wine bottles and place them on a bed of fresh greenery. Embellish with a couple of mini white pumpkins, and you’re done.
Pumpkins and gourds also make lovely, sustainable centerpieces. For instance, you can carve out an area in the pumpkin large enough to hold a cup or small vase. Then simply insert seasonal flowers and leaves.
Mini pumpkins can also be used as candle holders. Just slice off the top of the pumpkin, remove the seeds and hollow out a place large enough to hold a tea light.
If the gourd is long enough, you can build the candle holders right in along with your flowers! Add to the fall theme with berries, seeded eucalyptus, bay leaves, cattails, wheat stalks or grasses.
Happy Thanksgiving from The Tree and Landscape Company!