The holidays are a time when it may be easy to lose sight of your eco-conscious commitment. Give a gift to Mother Nature by making the most of your cooking and feasting this holiday season. From cutting down food waste to picking sustainable ingredients, there are easy ways you can be more mindful throughout the season of giving.

1. Make the most of every ingredient.

If you are juicing fruit for cocktails, remove the zest and save for another recipe. Try this using our recipes for Blood Orange Mule Mocktail and Holiday Chocolate Bark.

2. Incorporate dried fruit into your dishes.

Dried fruit helps reduce food waste by creating year-round harvest seasons, making for a more sustainable agriculture model for many fruit farmers. Here’s a perfect sustainable recipe for holiday parties: Ricotta-Stuffed Apricot Bites. Or browse our gallery featuring 14 delicious dried fruit recipes.

3. Make a vegetarian dish your main centerpiece. The holiday table often centers on a large piece of meat or poultry. Give tradition a twist with a main dish that has a much smaller impact on the environment, such as this colorful vegetarian pasta you can serve family style. Try making Red Lentil Winter Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce and Butternut Squash

4. Use mushrooms! Mushrooms have a remarkably low environmental footprint. Research shows that a pound of mushrooms requires only 1.8 gallons of water to grow. Comparatively, it takes 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef. For the mushroom lover, there’s Mushroom Thyme Bisque.

5. Incorporate more beans, lentils and other pulses— they are super soil helpers. Unlike most plants, which pull nitrogen from the soil as a food source, beans work with soil microbes to pull nitrogen from the air, which both enriches the soil and reduces the need for fertilizer. Check out this recipe for Braised Cannellini Beans.

6. Eat seasonally to support local agriculture and to cut back on foods that require long travel and storage.