No, this is not a joke blog.
We've been thinking here at 360Chestnut about how to have the Thanksgiving we love and to make the days leading up to the day itself and the days of leftovers be more energy efficient ones. Here are some of our thoughts:
1. Shopping for a big crowd? Try to do as much as you can in one trip--you'll save on gas and probably save your sanity at the same time.
2. Remember that a full fridge and freezer is more efficient than one that's nearly empty. This is one of the few times of the year that you can count on having stuffed appliances--and stuffed people too!
3. Brining that turkey? If you have a safe, cool place in your house (I use the mudroom just off my basement) or even outside, you can put your turkey in a big pot, tape down the lid so that critters won't get to it, and pick it up when it's ready for the oven.
4. Try not to open the refrigerator door more than necessary. (This will be more difficult during days of leftovers, when people tend to open the door and stare at all the bounty, trying to decide just what to eat.)
5. Ready to cook? Think about timing the meal to minimize the number of times you open the oven door--each time it opens, the temperature can go down by 25 degrees or so, and then uses energy to heat up again. Obviously, not very energy efficient. Plenty of turkey recipes don't even require basting...try one of those (they do work, I promise!)
6. A few hours before your guests arrive, your kitchen will probably be pretty steamy, and it will be safe to turn down your thermostat a couple of degrees. All those human bodies will warm up the room, so you can save energy and save a bit on your heating bill.
7. This is the perfect time to use candles for lighting the table. It's romantic, special, and saves electricity.
8. After the meal, get the crowd outside for a walk or some touch football. Let the calorie burn warm everybody up from the inside.
9. During cleanup, get organized. Don't run the dishwasher until it's completely full, and use the energy saver cool dry setting. You have relatives to help you with the drying, right?
10. When day is done and everybody's gone, snuggle up in a blanket and take a nap. You'll be conserving human energy and will probably wake up just in time to start thinking about having a snack.