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Five Ways to Green Your Thanksgivukkah

This year is the first time since 1888—and the last until 79,000 years from now—that Thanksgiving and the first night of Hanukkah fall on the same day. While this may seem like a recipe for piling on stress and consumption of stuff, it's also the perfect opportunity to redouble efforts around giving thanks and making time for what truly matters. Here are five ways to simplify this Thanksgivukkah:

1. Ditch the Car: Heading to Temple? If possible, walk, bike, or use public transportation to get there. If a car is necessary, offer to help organize a carpool with others in your area going the same direction.

2. Waste-free Thanksgiving: Far too often, massive amounts of food are left over after Thanksgiving guests have come and gone. Commit to hosting a Thanksgiving that’s entirely waste-free this year, by making less food, sending guests home with leftovers, and composting any plant-based waste left over from cooking the meal.

3. Wrap and Re-Wrap: When thinking about wrapping paper for Hanukkah gifts, go outside the store-bought options. Use cloth or fabric as wrapping paper that can be reused after the present is unwrapped, decorative bags already found around the house, or brown paper grocery bags that your kids decorate themselves.

4. Change Your Candles: Use candles for the menorah made of soy or beeswax, which are natural and eco-friendly, instead of more traditional paraffin candles that are made out of petroleum.

5. Sign the Pledge: Check out New Dream’s Simplify the Holidays pledge for more ideas on how to keep your holidays simple. Sign the pledge and share it with your friends and family, encouraging them to do the same.

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