Starting to make plans for the big game? Check out my tips for making a big impact on your guests without having a big impact on Earth.
Think About After the Party Before It Begins
Before you buy or make anything, think about what will be left once the party is over. The biggest amount of party waste tends to come from food and disposables. In fact, according to the Clean Air Council, every year, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons to circle the equator 300 times.
If you plan to have a small gathering, use non-disposable dishware, cutlery and glassware and then just throw it all in your dishwasher for a quick clean up. Yes, you’ll use water, but using something just once and then throwing it in the trash (aka the landfill) doesn’t make much sense.
But if you are throwing a party for the masses, using disposables may be the only sensible option, so be sure to use compostable disposables. Yes, they will cost a bit more than traditional plastic and polystyrene options, but consider the long term cost of them on Earth. I’d rather pay a bit extra now and support a company that makes a product that will break down quickly vs. paying less for a product that will still be sitting around in a landfill 3 generations from now.
What to choose? Most grocery stores that carry organic food also sell compostable disposables made of renewable resources, but you can also find these options at major mainstream chains like Party City. If you have time to order online, check out Susty Party which has plenty of attractive, eco options for all your party needs.
Take note! Some of these products won’t break down in your backyard compost bin, but if you have curbside pick-up with a commercial composter, then you should be fine. If you don’t compost, dispose of it in your trash. It’s better to send a compostable product to the landfill than something made of plastic or polystyrene.
Plates and Bowls
These days, you have the option of serving food on plates that are made of bamboo, molded palm or potatoes to name of few. bambu has a line called compostable dinnerware which is gorgeous, sturdy, and compostable. You can buy it in stores or online. But if renewable options aren’t available to you, see if you can find a plate made of recycled paper (I assure you it won’t have leftover food embedded in it!) If nothing else is available, better to use a simple paper plate that will break down much faster than plastic or polystyrene. Susty Party has some cool ,eco bowls for your to serve your Knock Yo’ Socks Off Vegan Chili. Check it out! They are durable and stand up to hot temperatures.
Cups and Cutlery
For your cold drinks, choose a plant-based cup. It looks like plastic, but is really compostable, so don’t place it in your recycling. You can find cutlery made of corn, bamboo, birch and other renewable products that can withstand high temperatures. I use cups and cutlery from World Centric.
I’m a fan of cloth napkins, but if you are serving the masses – and serving them messy food like hot wings – paper napkins make more sense, just consider napkins made of recycled paper. Party City carries a line of products called eco party which makes napkins made of 100% recycled paper.
Brewmasters, winemakers, and distillers may include animal ingredients in their products directly, or they might use them in the processing and filtration. So to be sure your booze is vegan, check Barnivore, a database of wineries, breweries, and distilleries.
I’m a huge fan of wine, but let’s face it, beer is at the top of most Super Bowl party beverage lists. When making selections, consider beer from a microbrewery near you. By buying local, your beer tends to have more character, you support your local economy, and you minimize carbon emissions since the beer has traveled a shorter distance. Want to know if your beer is vegan?
Be sure to have lots of non-alcoholic beverages available for your designated drivers and guests who opt not to indulge in the boozy stuff. Provide a pitcher (or two) of filtered water and add in a few slices of sliced lemon to give it some flavor. face it, soda is just downright bad for you (I know, I’m a recovering diet Coke addict). So consider these other fizzy options such as seltzer water and sparkling juice beverages. My husband John and I drink a lot of water every day and it is almost always sparkling water. Years ago, we realized we were going through a lot of bottles of seltzer water each week, so we bought a Soda Stream to make our sparkling water. Yes, it costs a bit of money, but that was quickly recovered in the amount of savings we now experience by not buying bottled sparkling water. If you really want a fizzy, soda-like beverage, consider Izze sparkling juice beverages. Another option is tea. I’m a fan of Honest Tea and Honest Kids.
These days, you are bound to have a least one guest who is vegetarian, vegan, requires gluten free options, or has an allergy. If you are having a potluck, it can be challenging for your guests to navigate the offerings and ensure they don’t have an allergic reaction before the half time show. So use this idea that I picked up from the dirty hippie & the bohemian girl.
When a guest arrives with a dish, have them fill out a little card (I’m talking 3” x 3” or so) and place it by their dish. All they need to do is write the name of their dish and then check off any of the following that apply to their dish:
- tree nuts
- food coloring
Your guests will appreciate it! Here is a sample. Food Ingredient Cards
If you are looking for menu ideas, check out our plant-based recipes!
I’d love to hear what you are doing for your Super Bowl party. Please share!