It's Super Bowl time and that means friends and food, bets and beer, comfy couches and big screen TVs.Â But for those who huddle up to "holiday's" various traditions, it can also mean a lot of waste.
Score a touchdown for people and planet with these tips for greening your Super Bowl party:
Super Bowl Party Food
Greening up Super Bowl party fare is easy when you replace conventionally grown products with those that are local and/or organically grown.
Worried that green food means macrobiotic wraps and wheat grass smoothies? Fear not, football fan, these days "green" can be enjoyed by all.
Yet others worry that eco-friendly grub is too expensive for a party; we all know how much food is sucked down even before half time.
The key is to create a spread of traditional Super Bowl foods which â organic or not â fill the belly but don't break the bank.
If choosing 100% organic isn't an option, consult the "Dirty Dozen (PDF)" list of foods that carry the highest pesticide loads and don't worry about the rest. Whenever possible, meat and dairy products should also be organic.
For these popular Super Bowl party foods, consider making the following ingredients organic:
- Nachos: Corn chips, bell peppers, cheese
- Pizza: Cheese, meat, bell peppers
- Hot dogs: Meat, cheese (or go veggie with non-meat options)
- Chili: Meat, cheese or go veggie using beans
- Veggies (for dipping): Celery, carrots, bell peppers
- Chips: Corn, potato
Have no interest in whipping up a batch of hot-wings yourself? Try organic ready-made wings or (the veggie version).
Local And Organic Beer
For example, on the East Coast, Peak Organic Brewing Company uses artisanal ingredients in their handcrafted ales.
Our Super Bowl suggestion? Try their Nut Brown Ale or Maple Oat Ale â perfect for pairing with Super Bowl fare.
You might also consider New Belgium beer.
While not an organic brewery, New Belgium's facility (which turns out popular labels such as Fat Tire) is built green, green powered and even sports the ability to green its water and other waste. Score one for the planet.
Choose glass over aluminum and be sure to recycle. Better yet? Go with a keg or growler and leave no trash behind.
Curious about why organic is better when it comes to beer, learn more about organic beer.
More Ideas To Green Your Super Bowl Party Game Plan
- Kick off your party with tree-free, stress-free, cost free E-vites.
- Super Bowl parties aren't known for the dÃ©cor, but this doesn't mean your eco-friendly party has to be blah. How about lining the buffet table with some fresh sod (white spray paint for field striping) instead of using a table cloth (if needed, protect table with a shower curtain or tarp). Or serve chips and dip in the inside of an old football cut in half and lined with recycled aluminum foil. Cloth napkins can be crafted in a snap using pinking shears and an old table cloth in your team's colors. Roll them up and place inside an upturned football helmet for more fun.
- Ditch the disposables and instead choose reusable cups, plates and cutlery. If you don't have enough on hand, ask your guests to bring their own, or consider durable Preserve tableware. Made from recycled yogurt cups, Preserve products are reusable and recyclable. Toss in the recycle bin or wash and save for next year's game. Comes in a variety of team colors.
- If your Super Bowl party begins or ends with a game of your own and you need a new ball, get your "pigskin" at a used sporting goods store or purchase one that's vegan and Fair Trade from Fair Trade Sports in Seattle.
- Green your screen by watching the game on an energy efficient TV (saves you money, too). And if you're in the market for an ultra thin model this year, keep your eyes peeled for LG's newest LED TV that's less than 7 mil thin. It won't be in stores in time for Miami's game but come Super Bowl XLV, you'll have fans of your own.
- Even Super Bowl commercials are getting into the green game. For the first time in 23 years, Pepsi will not be directly promoting its beverages with a now $3 million per spot ad; instead PepsiCo will be spending $20 million in a new cause marketing campaign with hopes of engaging consumers in a dialog about ways the company can become involved in environmental and social causes. Intrigued? Check out Pepsi's new "Project Refresh" site and vote for your favorite program.
- If you are lucky enough to be joining the crowd in Miami, stay in one of the areas more eco-friendly hotels.
Your Green Party Tips
How are you planning to green your Super Bowl party? Let us know in the comments.