Green Game Plan For Your Super Bowl Party

As a huge Patriots fan, I’m so psyched for Superbowl XLVI and it is even better because the Patriots are playing the Giants, my in-laws’ team to whom the Patriots lost to in Superbowl XLII.

Super_Bowl_Info_Graphic_FINAL_1765pxEarlier this week, the NFL and the Indianapolis Hosts took action to make Super Bowl XLVI the greenest yet buy purchasing wind energy credits for 15 million kWh.  That’s enough energy to power 25 million flat screen TVs during the game.  Check out the infographic for more ideas on how much energy 15 million kWh is.  Why stop there, here are three points (or the field goal) to greening your own Super Bowl Party.

Field Goal (3 Points) to Greening Your Super Bowl Party:

1. Punt the Disposables.  Instead of buying a bunch of cheap one time use things for the party, such as paper plates, plastic utensils, solo drinking cups, paper napkins, etc., use the real thing.  Here are some things you probably already have on the sidelines that you can use.

  • Real Plates – ceramic are best, but reusable plastic is better than styrofoam and even paper plates.
  • Cloth Napkins – not the fancy dinner ones, but smaller basic ones are best for parties.  Put out a pile like you would paper napkins and then put a bin for the dirties near the trash.  Be sure to label it.

    DIY Patriots Cloth Napkins

    My mom made these for us

  • Real Glasses – If you aren’t going to drink the beer directly from the bottle, then you should definitely pour it into a glass, and never drink wine from anything but glass.  If you are afraid of breakage, check out the reusable cups we have collected from restaurants for the kids.

You may have to do an extra load of laundry to wash the napkins and probably one or two more of dishes, but you can use everything again and again and feel good about it at the same time. 
2. Avoid the Sack by Recycling.  Combined with Punting Disposables, recycling the rest will minimize the sacks of garbage you generate from your big party.  We’ve had BBQ’s with 40+ people where we didn’t even fill a small kitchen trash can.  Of course you should recycle those bottles and cans, but don’t forget to check the any party trays or containers for the chasing arrows.  Also, all that aluminum from pie pans to chafing dishes can be recycled.  Be sure to wash things before putting them in your recycling bin.  If you are unsure what is recyclable in your area, check

Mystic Brewer Saison Beer

Brewed 5.5 miles away

3. Don’t Go Long, Go Local (and Organic).  Keep the food yards (1,760 per mile) down by buying locally grown and produced items for the big game.  If you aren’t sure what is local, ask the friendly employees at your favorite stores.  I was shocked when I asked for help finding a local beer to be shown a ton of stuff from all sorts of towns around Boston.  Turns out I had asked Richard the “Beer Manager” at our local Kappy’s and he really knew his stuff.  I ended up with a pair of Belgium Ales that were brewed in Chelsea, MA only 5 miles away.  As a bonus, when you talk to people you may find out about cool stuff too, such as the local beer tasting happening on March 10th.  You don’t have to go ultra local, but why buy an imported beer or wine, when you can get a great one made in your state or one of the ones in your region.
For food, try to get natural and organic in addition to local.  You can take any recipe and make it greener by using local and/or organic ingredients.  For football games, my staple is nachos.
To make  “green” nachos I start with a layer of organic corn chips, (though I’ve recently discovered I really like multi-grain tortilla chips).  Then I add layers of Vermont Cheddar and Pepper Jack.  Next comes some jalapenos, ironically, the only green item on my nachos and the least green as they usually come from California.  After a minute or so in the microwave, I add the cold ingredients starting with tomatoes.  In the summer, I’ll add some from our garden if I can, or local organic ones.  During football season I usually have to resort to canned organic diced tomatoes.  Be sure to strain the juice before adding or you get soggy nachos.  Some local sour cream and our recently discovered local organic Number 9 Salsa, available with lots of other great local stuff at WholeFoods

Now that you have the Green Game Plan for your Super Bowl Party, dawn your jerseys, pull out your crazy fan gear and get ready to enjoy the biggest game of the year!

Added 1/31/2012
 For more great tips check out our new post:
Green Super Bowl Huddle: A Roundup of Green Super Bowl Information and Ideas 
and join the discussion on facebook: Green Game Plan for the Super Bowl XLVI

Go Patriots!!!

Go Patriots!!!

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  1. Great tips!

  2. Great suggestions. Going green is something we really believe in and I’m loving my cloth napkins. We’ve started stocking up in a variety of colors and styles so we have some for every occasion.

  3. Wonderful tips for a green super bowl. Loving the cloth napkins and real plates I am cooking some healthier options to go with your green living.

  4. Here are even more tips we’ve found or received here:

    Ellen – I now wish I had one of those embroidery sewing machines that could stick on little flying Elvis’s on our cloth napkins.

    Sherry – awesome fresh recipe. I added it to the Green Super Bowl Huddle post


  5. many local brewpubs/breweries offer growlers (refillable 1/2 gallons) of their beers. if you live close, it’s another beer option. PLUS you don’t have any packaging or glass to recycle a the growler is infinitely reusable!

  6. I certainly like all of these ideas, and the titles you have used for each point are very creative! We make sure whenever we host a party, and this Superbowl was no exception that we always use cups and plates that can be washed and reused, rather than throwaway items. We found some really nice durable plastic wine and beer glasses at our local TJ Maxx and they really were quite reasonable. We don’t have to worry about glass breaking on the pool deck any more, and our guests can drink wine etc. from glasses that wine is supposed to be drunk from! I almost forgot, my wife makes homemade chips too, so no need to buy them in plastic bags from the store, and very healthy too, you can cook them in the microwave!

  7. These are great recycling tips. The ideas of recycling these materials are also brilliant. Many of the people including me had not actually thought of those. By the way, in addition to the tips above, you can actually reuse those disposable bags. You can create yarns and other materials out of them. biodegradable plastic bags

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