On Thanksgiving morning, the smell of roasting turkey wafts through many people’s homes. And they eagerly await their first bites of the holiday feast.

A week later, they may find their fridge still stacked with leftovers. So they dump the remaining green beans, turkey, and stuffing in the trash.

“We estimate that around 300 million pounds of food go to waste over the Thanksgiving period,” says Dana Gunders of the nonprofit ReFED.

She explains that food waste is a major contributor to global warming.

Wasting food means more is grown, processed, and transported than needed. Every step of that process can contribute to climate change.

And when food rots in a landfill, it releases methane, a potent climate warming gas.

But Gunders says simple steps can help you reduce the food waste from your Thanksgiving meal.

She says when there are 10 choices on the table, people rarely load their plates with full portions of each, so you can cut back on how much you make.

And she suggests hosts provide takeout containers to share leftovers with their guests.

“It will really help … reduce the amount that might go to waste in your home a few days later,” she says.

So as you give thanks for your holiday spread, consider how to keep it from going to waste.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media