Tips for eco-friendly family fun this season

There are plenty of fun, eco-friendly activities that the whole family can enjoy this fall. Here are some great – and green – ideas.

  1. Explore the great outdoors
    Fall is great weather for hiking, and the changing leaves make a great background for family portraits. To keep the kids engaged, play a fun game like “I spy – nature edition” or see what they can find on a scavenger hunt.With 37 national parks and 10 national park reserves in Canada, as well as many provincial parks and local nature reserves to explore, nature isn’t far from your doorstep. Don’t forget to leave only footprints behind.
  1. Plan a family game night
    Stay warm on a cool fall evening with a fun-filled family game night. Pour some mugs of hot chocolate or warm apple cider and pick a game you all love. Get creative without creating waste – there are many family-friendly options like Charades, Spoons or Apples to Apples.
  1. Visit a pumpkin patch or a local farm
    Pumpkin patches and local farms are great for day trips and the perfect spots to find fresh seasonal produce and treats. There are plenty of ways to ensure your pumpkin carving is eco-friendly and low-waste – toast the pumpkin seeds for a yummy snack, and if desired, save the body of the pumpkin for future meals or desserts and compost any left-over pieces.
  1. Make a seasonal recipe
    From warm soups and stews to pastas and casseroles, cozy recipe options are endless, and a great way to use up vegetables and leftovers. When grocery shopping for additional ingredients, look for a carbon zero logo on food packaging. This can help you identify companies that are prioritizing eco-friendly initiatives.

 

Crispy Baked Chicken with Fall Root Vegetables 

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients 

  • 8 Maple Leaf Prime chicken thighs
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) of butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 small beets, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 head green cabbage, sliced into wedges
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) rosemary
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation 

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place sweet potato, squash and beets in a large bowl. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive into bowl followed by maple syrup, rosemary and garlic salt. Toss well to coat and arrange onto a baking sheet.
  3. Place chicken into the same bowl and drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  4. Nestle chicken around the vegetables on baking tray. Cut butter into small cubes and place on top of each piece of chicken.
  5. Place cabbage wedges and carrots on another baking tray and drizzle with salt and pepper.
  6. Place chicken on middle rack of oven and cabbage and carrot tray on the rack below. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, then flip carrots and cabbage, cooking until tender. Change oven to low broil and roast chicken for 3 to 4 minutes until golden and crispy.
  7. Arrange onto a family style serving platter and drizzle with pan drippings.

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