Super Bowl LIII (53) is right around the corner—Sunday, February third. Whether you’re tuning in for the New England Patriots, the Los Angeles Rams, Maroon 5, or the hilarious commercials—your party is sure to make eco-mistakes. Whether it’s carbon emissions or lots of trash, here are a few ways that you can cut down on those “environmental no nos.”
1. Bring Your Own Plates
You’ve heard of BYOB? Well, now it’s BYOP, for “Bring Your Own Plates.”
You’ve probably thought about what sort of alcohol or buffalo sauce filled cheesy appetizer you are bringing to the party, but you’ve given no thought to what to serve it on. “Oh, the host will have paper plates.” you think. Maybe “Oh, they’ll have plastic cups.” Unfortunately, plasticware creates a lot of garbage, which is not good for the planet. Rather than buying plates and utensils, use what you already have. Not enough for your guests? Ask people to bring washable, reusable items from home. Nobody will mistake someone else’s meal for theirs and less items will be added to the local landfill. If you’re having a potluck, ask people to use reusable tupperware instead of disposable packaging.
You can package everything in a reusable bag for the car ride. Bringing something hot or cold? Try an insulated cooler bag.
2. Meatless Mondays
It’s finally time to try one of the hundreds of cauliflower recipes you have pinned to your Pinterest board or saved in your bookmarks on Buzzfeed.
Meat and poultry require large amounts of land, water, feed, and it generates carbon emissions. According to the United States Geological Survey, 500 gallons of water are needed to create one pound of chicken! If you cook with as little meat as possible, not only will you cut down on some of those problems, but you may just discover your new favorite side-dish or “meatless Monday” substitute.
If you are feeling extra eco-conscious, you can challenge yourself to make a dish with zero packaging waste.
Cut down on some waste with a reusable water bottle.
3. Review the Recycling
You may have a recycling bin, and your guests might honor your wish to keep the planet clean, but is everything recyclable? The shortest answer is no.
Before the party, make sure that you brush up on your county recycling rules. This way, if a guest asks if something is recyclable or garbage, you know for sure what the right answer is. The best place to look, is your local Solid Waste Authority website; you can search for what is and isn’t recyclable through this, or related site’s, pages.
Send your party invites on seed paper. This can be recycled into beautiful wild flowers when it is done being used.
4. Decorations Are a Don’t
If you are thinking of decorating—get that thought out of your head.
A lot of decor is made from mixed materials, leaving them unrecyclable. Things like balloons, while a fun touch, are especially unrecyclable; and if you live near the beach, you can potentially harm sea life both in and around the water. Latex does biodegrade, but not when buried in landfills.
Save your money and use it to make your house extra clean before your guests arrive. Everyone will thank you!