Since many of you will be hosting parties for the big game on Sunday, I thought that today I’d share a few easy ways to make your Super Bowl XLVI bash all about the THREE R’s: REDUCE, RECYCLE and REUSE! (And the Three F’s too: football, food, and friends, of course.)
1) Food is always a big part of any party or event, so use your menu to put an Eco-friendly touch on your Super Bowl party by purchasing pesticide free produce and organic meats and vegetables. Stick to a “100 Mile” diet, which means you’re buying locally as opposed to globally, this cuts down on your carbon footprint and also helps boost the local economy. For example, instead of ordering greasy delivery items, put a healthy, Eco-friendly spin on your menu simply by making it at home! Try your hand at Alton Brown’s homemade buffalo wings recipe via Food Network paired with locally grown vegetables and dipping sauces galore!
2) There is always a ton of waste and trash after an event or party, especially one like the Super Bowl where guests will most likely be drinking out of disposable bottles and cans. Do your best to cut back on your parties waste by disposing of recyclable materials correctly and composting any biodegradable items. This way, anything that ends up in your garbage will be delivered to the correct waste facilities. Although, if you want to be really green, skip the beer cans and bottles all together by opting for reusable glassware and a good old fashioned keg! Bonus tip: Dip your glassware (mugs or high-ball glasses) in water and store them in your freezer for frosty cold beers on game day!
3) My favorite parties always seem to be themed, so for your Super Bowl party try to think of a fun theme for your decorations! A great place to start is with your favorite teams’ colors! Then, use things around the house as decor to start with and then add to that. Use your kids’ footballs or borrow from a neighbor rather than just buying them for one time use. If you do buy them only for the party, donate them to a children’s charity afterwards. The same thing goes for any team jerseys, pennants, or other items you buy to use as decor for this one time event. It is unlikely that the same two teams will play each other next year, so donate anything and everything you can. I am a fan of using real decor items rather than those cheap paper cut-outs that are sold at most party stores. Real items may cost a little more, but they can be reused more often than not and therefore don’t end up in the trash. Here are a couple more real/reusable decor ideas:
4) During a party, guests will use a large amount of glasses, plates and napkins, so rather than using paper plates and napkins and plastic cups, contact a local rental company and rent real plates, silverware, cloth napkins and glasses for your guests to use. The great thing about this is that you can return them and they literally do the dishes for you! Or if you entertain a lot like I do, invest in a set of plates, silverware, glassware and napkins for 16 people so that you reduce your party trash by reusing this set anytime you’re entertaining (try IKEA for affordable yet chic dishware you can buy in bulk).
5) If you are really trying to be Eco-friendly, there are websites like www.carbonfootprint.com or www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/index.htm where you can calculate your carbon footprint and then go to a site like www.carbonfund.org or www.terrapass.com and purchase carbon credits to offset the carbon that you have used to throw your party.
Let me know if you decide to try any of these tips for your Super Bowl XLVI party! And be sure to leave any great tips you have for Eco-friendly entertaining in the comment section below. Together, we can all do our part to create experiences that are not only extraordinary for our party guests, but also the planet!