The Super Bowl is a good excuse to throw a party, but don’t get fouled by a pile-up of waste! Buying throw-away items such as cups, plates and utensils, is expensive and creates a huge amount of trash. Choosing eco-friendly strategies and reusable food containers can save you time and money in the long run.
Sandra Ann Harris, founder of ECOlunchbox encourages hosts to rethink their plastic dependence and reduce waste this year at Super Bowl parties. Learn how to score a touchdown for Mother Earth with these eco-friendly tips.
Give your guests a head-ups. Make sure to note on your invitations that you are aiming to have a zero-waste party. Guests can do their part by carpooling to the party, bringing any extra reusable supplies they may have from home, and purchasing fresh items instead of prepackaged fruits, veggies and snacks.
Ditch bottles and cans for a keg and other family-size drinks. Kegs tend to be cheaper per ounce than cans or bottles and will be reused. If beer isn’t your thing, root beer kegs and big containers of non-alcoholic drinks can also be purchased at various retailers. Ask you guests to bring their own cup and mark it with their name using a permanent marker or sticker.
Make wise food choices. Bring your own containers or bags to store items in when you go grocery shopping for the party instead of using the disposable plastic bags the stores provide. Buy freshly sliced cheeses and meats from the deli instead of plastic-wrapped prepacks. Pizza is a great option but remember that greasy cardboard pizza boxes need to be composted – not recycled.
Label recycling and compost areas. Make it obvious where folks should place their soiled napkins (cloth will need to be laundered; paper can be composted), recyclables, reusable dishware and food waste (a large pot works well for plate scrapings!) Use address labels to stick on the various containers where you want these items placed so folks know exactly what goes where. A major reason people don’t recycle on their own is because they think it’s confusing or inconvenient.
Go DIY with decorations. Swap out paper or plastic decorations for homemade cloth ones. Check local craft/fabric stores for fabric with teams’ logos imprinted on it or in the teams’ colors to make napkins, banners and pennants. At the end of the party you can let guests take home the items as a fun souvenir or use them as cleaning cloths. You can also check out your local thrift store for fun décor that goes with your color themes.
Say no to plastic cups & other throw-away items. Use your own dishware instead of disposable items. If you are worried about guests breaking items, look into compostable and recyclable dishes or reusable, stainless steel serving trays that can be used for other parties as well. Provide guests with reusable straws in team colors and use large, reusable containers to serve food in. These containers can also be used to store leftovers in and are dishwasher safe for a quick clean up.