4 Ways to Host a Green Super Bowl Party
The Super Bowl, essentially an American holiday, is an excuse to scream at a TV and eat and drink more than the average human should. More than 100 million Americans are expected to tune in Sunday to watch the Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos. But like all large sporting events, the Super Bowl, and all the fanfare that goes along with it, carries a rather hefty environmental impact. To its credit, the National Football league has stepped up its efforts to host a greener event, making this year's event the greenest Super Bowl ever. But there are plenty of ways for those of us not privileged enough to watch the game in person to do our part as we watch at home. Here are a few ways to make sure your Super Bowl party is as green as possible.
While recycling should be a given, if you're of a drinking age, more likely than not you plan on drinking a beer or two. According to Saveonbrew.com, Americans drank $10.8 billion worth of beer during last year's Super Bowl, which by our calculations is many, many bottles and cans. And even if your party isn't contributing to this beer drinking frenzy, it's a good bet that you'll have soda or some other bottled/canned beverages. Make sure to properly sort and recycle all bottles, cans and various other recyclable items from your party. After all, the Super Bowl is second largest food consumption day of the year, after Thanksgiving, and you don't want to contribute to the vast of amount of trash going straight to landfills, do you? This also applies for a new TV you may be buying for the big game. Properly recycle all your old electronics and make sure that your new TV is up to Energy Star efficiency standards.
Another way to ensure that all the food you consume on Super Bowl Sunday doesn't go to waste is to compost whatever scraps are left over. All fruits, nuts, and vegetables left over are easily compostable and will give your home garden's soil an extra little kick. Even the Super Bowl hosts, MetLife Stadium, will compost all food waste from the event. If your town has composting program, you should check on your city's composting guidelines. You don't want hamburger or chicken wing scraps getting in your bin if city guidelines say otherwise. Nevertheless, play like the pros and compost.
Speaking of chicken wings, last year the National Chicken Council estimated that Americans ate 1.23 billion chicken wings during the Super Bowl weekend. If you're going to partake in this mass chicken consumption, the least you can do is to make sure they're organic. There are also plenty of other healthy and organic snack options for your Super Bowl menu. You can try this summer carrot and date quinoa salad or these zucchini goat cheese sliders. And even though it may sound un-American not to eat burgers and chicken for the Super Bowl, avoiding meat entirely may be the best way host a green party. Check out our roundup of delicious meat substitutes.
Make a Charitable Donation
Why not make a charitable donation to an organization related to your team? If you're a Seahawks fan, think about donating to the National Audubon Society. If you're a Broncos fan, consider the Equus Foundation or the ASPCA. Connect with a local Sierra Club chapter to find out more about environmental issues in Seahawks or Broncos territory. Charitable donations are a big part of how these organizations do the good work they do, so even the smallest contribution can be important.
No matter which team you're rooting for come Sunday, remember that how you watch the game can make a difference in the overall environmental impact of the event. So relax with some organic snacks and drinks, recycle and combust your food scraps, and sit back and watch one of the the biggest exposés on American culture of the year.
--Image by iStockphoto/Kuramyndra
Callum Beals is an editorial intern at Sierra. He recently graduated from UC Santa Cruz where he studied history and literature. He enjoys hiking, camping, and waking up at ungodly hours to watch soccer games.