Many of us are marching into 2020 ready to make changes in our lifestyle to lessen our impact on the environment. So, if you’re asked to host this year’s Super Bowl party, you’re probably wondering how an eco-friendly Super Bowl party is even possible, given the amount of food, drink and dinnerware required to host such a giant get-together. Don’t worry, though! We’ve got the perfect tips to help your Super Bowl party be a touchdown for your friends and the environment.
Choose quality meats and have meatless options
Each year, Americans eat more than a billion chicken wings on Big Gameday.1 That’s a lot of chicken to source from who knows where and under what conditions. So, instead of purchasing your wings from a chain restaurant, opt for making them at home yourself.
This allows you to choose locally and ethically raised chicken. Plus, it cuts down on the carbon emissions required to transport that many flaps and drumsticks, as well as the waste that would otherwise be produced from your favorite chicken wing chain.
You could even take it one step further and offer some plant-based options that are irresistible, like these buffalo cauliflower wings. By reducing your meat consumption and swapping it with a veggie alternative, you are preventing 36 pounds of CO2e emissions a day.2 You don’t have to sacrifice all your meat options but reducing them even by a small amount can make a big difference.
Cook your appetizers and snacks yourself
In addition to the irresistible flaps and drumsticks, consider cooking most of the dishes yourself. You can make your own burgers and fries or even opt to bake or fry your own potato chips. By making your own food, you cut down on the plastic waste required to transport these items from store/restaurant to your home (i.e., the potato chip bags, the Styrofoam or plastic clamshell containers, the single-use plastic bags, etc.). Plus, you can sharpen up on your cooking skills and learn new recipes along the way!
Recycle your cans, glasses and plastic
This step is obvious, but when you’re throwing a party, it’s the step that can be easily missed, especially if your guests don’t have the same eco-friendly know-how as you. Football fans across America will be consuming beverages from aluminum, glass and plastic – all of which can be recycled! Two ways to get your guests to dispose of their used containers properly:
- Have a clearly marked recycling bin and encourage your guests to dispose of their beverages in the appropriate bin when they are ready to open their next beverage.
- Skip the glasses and cans and serve beverages in bulk! Buy two-liter sodas or serve filtered water out of a glass.
These steps may be small, but imagine how many beverages you go through on game day! These small steps will go a long way for the amount of waste produced at the end of the game.
Use real dishes instead of plastic
It can be tempting to purchase plastic plates and utensils. After all, they are the easiest to clean up at the end of a long night, and who wants to wash a bunch of dishes after The Big Game? However, it’s important to realize that the average American produced 4.4 pounds of waste per day, with rates presumably spiking on days of big events like Super Bowl Sunday.
This is why we recommend you set out real dishes for party-goers to enjoy their food on. It doesn’t have to be your fine china, just something for them to nosh their treats from. By making this small change, you decrease the amount of waste that will end up in landfills.3
Freeze or donate your leftovers to reduce food waste
If you cooked for more guests than you anticipated and ended up with extra food, don’t throw it out. Instead, freeze it for later, give it to a local shelter or send some home with your friends. If you have leftover ingredients from your homemade recipes or prepared food that has gone uneaten, reach out to your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen to see if they would accept any of the food you have available. Feeding America has a website to find your local food bank where you can locate your nearest food bank or soup kitchen and pay it forward.4
By making a few eco-friendly changes to your party, you can easily take your bash from wasteful to waste-free (and bonus points if your team wins)!