November is a time for many of us to be thankful for our family, health, friends and community.  We should also be thankful for the role water plays at every Thanksgiving celebration.  Without water, the Thanksgiving feast would nearly impossible to put together.  A typical holiday meal for eight requires more than 42,000 gallons of water to grow and prepare food—about the same amount to fill a 30 by 50 foot swimming pool.

On Thanksgiving Day, or any large holiday meal, you run the dishwasher more.  You rinse vegetables.  You clean big pots and pans.  Family visitors mean your bathroom toilets and showers will be used more.

So how can you save water during the holiday season?  Continue to integrate water-wise behavior into your daily life well beforehand (and after).  That way, when the holiday arrives, you’ll be well versed in knowing water-saving tricks.  Here’s a few to get you started: 

Tip 1:  Start saving 60 gallons of water a week by brushing food scraps into the garbage can, or the compost bin, instead of rinsing them into the sink’s garbage disposal.

Tip 2:  Save another 50 gallons of water by defrosting frozen foods in the refrigerator the night before they’re needed, instead of running hot water over them on the same day. This is also a safer way to defrost food by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.

Tip 3:  Save 30 gallons a week by rinsing vegetables and fruits in a sink or pan filled with water instead of running them under water.  As a bonus, you can use this water to either rinse out your recyclable cans or water houseplants.

Tip 4:  Use biodegradable disposable towels to wipe grease off from pans and fat trimmings.  Don’t get rid of excess grease by pouring it into the sink.  It can wreak havoc on your plumbing.

Tip 5:  Go to for more information on about water conservation in Santa Fe, residential and commercial rebate programs and outdoor/indoor water sue requirements.

There you have it – the perfect recipe for having a water-wise Thanksgiving.

Article provided by our friends at the City of Santa Fe – Water Division


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Edible celebrates New Mexico's food culture, season by season. We believe that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. With our high-quality, aesthetically pleasing and informative publication, we inspire readers to support and celebrate the growers, producers, chefs, beverage and food artisans, and other food professionals in our community.