Support Green This Super Bowl!

Regardless of which team colors you will be wearing for this Super Bowl, there’s one color that everyone should definitely be supporting: green!

This year, football fans will gather in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII, which is working to be the most environmentally-friendly sporting event. With all the lead up events and parties located within one mile of the Mercedez-Benz Superdome, this year’s Super Bowl will be the first “walkable Super Bowl” in eleven years.

Additionally, the New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee is spearheading a project to purchase carbon offset credits to make this year’s Super Bowl a carbon-neutral event. Yay!

But how do YOU host a cool party and still be kind to Mother Earth?

Game Plan- Make a waste-conscious shopping list

Cook up some finger foods. Serving finger foods avoids the hassle of purchasing or washing utensils and plates.

Use reusable dishware and utensils and save your carbon emissions and money.  All products – reusable and disposable – require extracting resources (oil, timber, mineral ores), refining, and transportation in between each step. Compared to that, washing a few dishes is not so hard after all. If you don’t have enough at your house, see if you can borrow them from a friend or rent them from a nearby party store.

If you opt for the disposable route, purchase fully-compostable paper plates over plastic ones. Beware of tricky labeling like “biodegradable,” or no labeling on utensils; these faux-green items are not recyclable or compostable. Compostable utensils and plastics accepted in San Francisco’s compost program must be labeled “compostable.”

Winning Score- Shopping Tips

Think Local– No Super Bowl party is complete without tasty beverages, including beer! So why not buy local brands? Buying local is kinder to Mother Earth, as the products don’t have to ship across country just to make it to your Super Bowl bash.

Buy In Bulk- Purchase party snacks from the bulk bins in your supermarket to create your own specialty snack mixes, which saves money and reduces packaging waste. When purchasing other foods, remember that metal containers are generally better than plastic containers because metal packaging can retain its recyclability over time, versus plastic which is down-cycled much more quickly and can contaminate marine environments.

Shop for beverages in recyclable packages like glass bottles metal cans, or hard plastic jugs. Avoid soft plastic and tetra packs, which are often used for juice packs and soy milk.

Take Your Bag– Before you leave the house, remember your reusable bags, and, of course, your waste-conscious shopping list!

Don’t forget the Green & Blue

Did you know that HALF of the material that currently gets put in the black bin (going directly to the landfill) could actually be composted or recycled?

Set up your blue and green bins so they are visible and accessible during the party. If your cups, utensils, and plates are reusable, recyclable, or compostable you won’t even need a black bin!

Want to keep chip wrappers from going to the landfill? Collect them and send them to TerraCycle, a company that accepts candy wrappers and chip bags  and recycles them into a variety of products like lunch boxes, bags, and even dog bowls.

Party sorting cheat sheet

•    Green bin: All food scraps, cheesy pizza boxes, toothpicks, meat bones, soiled paper such as paper plates and napkins, barbecue ashes, and anything labeled “compostable.”

•    Blue bin: Glass bottles, plastic cups, clean pizza boxes, straws, plastic utensils, and foil go in the blue bin. You can even recycle beer bottles with the lime inside! Take soft plastics to a local supermarket for recycling.

•    Black bin: Hopefully nothing! But if you have it, place box drinks, deflated balloons, plastic ribbon, and food soiled plastic wrap in the black bin.

Final Score- Green Your Clean Up

Going green means clean up without a lot of excess waste; here are some tips:

•  If you used plastic utensils, you can hand wash them or even run them in your dishwasher. No need to throw them away. Better yet, just use regular silverware. Easier to clean up than plates and you do a small part to be a little greener.

•  If you ordered pizza like most party-goers, did you know you can recycle the pizza box? Just tear off the greasy part and recycle the rest.

•  Make sure you recycle or compost your paper plates and cups if possible. Throw away as little as possible.

•  Remember to use recycled paper towels and napkins and biodegradable trash bags to keep your party green through and through.

Enjoy the game!

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