Thanksgiving Water Conservation: Possible?

Last week I talked about how important water is to us, and how thankful I am for it.

With my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving) right around the corner, I wanted to explore water conservation options during the big meal.  It’s not something that I would normally think of, but this internship has really opened my eyes to always thinking about conserving our H2O.

Let’s start with food prep:

Frozen foods?

Defrost them in the refrigerator instead of running them under hot water.  It just takes a little bit of thinking ahead to transfer foods from the freezer to the fridge.  But…if you’re cooking the big meal, you’ll be doing a lot of planning anyway.

Washing fresh vegetables and fruit?

Designate a bowl with fresh water instead of sticking them under running water.  Your veggies, fruits, and water bill will thank you.

What’s so bad about running your tap water?  Every minute can mean 2 gallons of water down the drain.

Moving onto cooking:

Frying your turkey? 

This is something I’ve never tried…but for those of you that love watching it sizzle in that deep fryer, I have some tips for you after it’s done.

So, what do you do with it?

-You can put it back in the original container, freeze it, and reuse it up to 6 months later.  It might sound strange…but some of the best restaurant food I’ve had has been cooked with old grease.

-You can add unscented kitty litter, sand, or sawdust to the grease to solidify it, then put it in the garbage.

-You can let it solidify and dump it on trash day.

-Please, Please, PLEASE don’t pour the grease down your sink!  There’s a large possibility it will congeal and block your pipes…and I’m quite sure plumbers would rather not work over the holidays to clean out turkey grease…especially if they’re not getting to eat any of that delicious turkey.

Now to the clean-up:

Fancy china?

I definitely hand wash my Thanksgiving dishes, what with the fancy plates and glasses and all that hoity-toity stuff.  The EPA recommends that you fill one side of your sink with soapy water, place all your dirty dishes in it, scrub, then transfer to the other side for rinsing.  But…don’t let the rinsing-side have running water, until you have a pile of dishes to rinse at once!


Don’t put them down the sink, put them in the trash using a paper towel or paper napkin.  The garbage disposal uses a lot of water, so keep that to a minimum.

These tips can help you save up to 10 gallons of water!  (By the way, that’s 80 pounds…hefty)

Every little bit helps, even if it’s only ten gallons at a time.

Be smart on Turkey Day, be thankful you have the running water with which to cook a wonderful meal to share with your family.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

Annaliese Ashley-Intern

Originally posted on, 11/27/12


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