Keeping Your Super Bowl Party Zero Waste

Chips, a six pack of beer, and an American football in front of the Super Bowl on TV.

When is the 2024 Super Bowl?

Two of the NFL’s modern-day dynasties clash on Sunday, February 11, 2024, with kick-off time in the UK scheduled for 11:30 pm. Just like previous years, the Super Bowl final 2024 is set to be another magnificent occasion. Along with the action on the pitch, other highlights include a half-time performance from rapper Usher and those classic commercials that always provide plenty of talking points.

The Super Bowl is more than just a football game — it’s ingrained in American culture. This event unites football fans worldwide, especially in the USA, which last year saw a Super Bowl record of 115 million viewers watching the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Philadelphia Eagles.

Of course, the main focus is always on what happens between the uprights, and the game has a little more spice. The Kansas City Chiefs are trying to become the first team since the 2003 and 2004 New England Patriots to retain the championship.

Standing in their way are the San Franciso 49ers, who are looking to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy for the first time since their sole success in 1994.

Families, friends, and fellow fans get together to watch the game, donning colours or jerseys of their favourite teams. Many hang up banners and balloons, consuming feasts of pizza, nachos, wings, and plenty of beers.

However, the amount of waste generated from a Super Bowl party can be substantial. From disposable cups and plates to the number of cars being driven to your place, let’s discover ways to make your Super Bowl party as green as the vibrant playing turf.

How to reduce the environmental impact of your Super Bowl party

An average NFL game generates 80,000 pounds of rubbish, but this could double at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Super Bowl LVII was the closest we’ve been to achieving a zero waste Super Bowl with 92.6% of event-associated with trash diverted away landfills. Of course, these impressive statistics only relate to the waste created by spectators lucky enough to attend the NFL’s showpiece event.

In 2023, at least 2,000 tons of food waste was expected to be generated at Super Bowl-related parties alone. Yet, with a bit of planning, you can make your Super Bowl party as enjoyable for the environment as it will be for your guests.

Plan ahead with invites and a list

Just like your favourite team will meticulously prep for the big game, you can plan to kick unnecessary waste into touch at your Super Bowl party. Decide who you will invite to plan activities and food and drink items, and ensure you have plenty of room.

If you want to ramp up your guests’ excitement, consider sending a fun football-themed design invitation. Digital invites, text messages, or setting up Facebook groups are more eco-friendly than mailing your invitations, reducing deforestation, pollution, and ink toxicity.

Once you’ve got confirmed numbers, make a list of items to purchase or reuse. This will prevent overbuying and reduce the amount of waste your Super Bowl party produces.

Eco-conscious decorations

Decorating your home for Super Bowl Sunday is a fun way to spawn a festive atmosphere and environment for the big day. However, you can still watch your environmental footprint by cutting down on non-sustainable decorations. Zero-waste party décor like reusable football-themed banners, tablecloths, and bunting made from recyclable materials can be used for future games.

You can even do DIY décor projects by upcycling materials to make fabric or felt banners. Alternatively, use your football gear lying around the house for inspiration. Take your favourite jerseys, pennants, and posters and cover a wall in your party space to create a memorable photo backdrop.

Footballs, helmets, and whistles can be used as props to keep your guests entertained. If you don’t have access to any (or many) of these items, try sourcing them from a second-hand store or asking your friends to contribute.

Make your own food

Serving home-cooked grub is a tasty way to reduce your Super Bowl food waste. You can use fresh, locally sourced ingredients, minimise food packaging, and control portion sizes to reduce leftovers. Think about incorporating leftovers into your weekly meal plan or allow guests to take some home. Turn the rest of your food scraps into beneficial garden ingredients by composting them.

Serve your party food in reusable containers like ceramic or glass bowls, and platter trays. While it’s fine to chuck in a few meat options, consider healthy, sustainable meat alternatives like a vegan BBQ jackfruit pizza or tofu for your guests to feast on.

Fresh vegetables or plant-based dips and snacks like an outrageously creamy spinach and artichoke dip can be just as enjoyable while reducing the environmental impact associated with meat production.

An array of Super Bowl party food laid out on a table with a red and white chequered tablecloth.

Eco-friendly plates  and utensils

While it’s great to fill your guests’ bellies with healthy options, the tableware and utensils you provide must match your menu’s green credentials.

Single-use cutlery and tableware might bring convenience, but they can’t be recycled kerbside. Save yourself a few pennies by relying on your usual plates and silverware, which can be stacked neatly in your dishwasher and placed on eco mode to save energy.

Like your reusable serviceware, the tablecloth and napkins should follow suit to reduce your Super Bowl party’s environmental impact. They can be tossed in the washing machine and cleaned, ready for your next party.

Drinking straws are a classic way to enjoy beverages and stir mixed drinks at parties. Opt for eco-friendly party straws made from compostable or reusable materials such as bamboo, paper, reed, or stainless steel.

Host in an energy-efficient manner

Give your fellow Super Bowl fans a heads-up you’re making the event as eco-friendly as possible. Ask your guests to turn off unnecessary lights and electronics when not in use and set up labelled recycling and composting stations in an easy-to-see location so waste is disposed of responsibly.

If you have multiple TVs, try get the whole group into a space where you can watch it on one screen so less energy is wasted. If you’re treating yourself to a brand new TV for the event, buy an energy-efficient model and recycle or donate your old TV.

Encourage car sharing

Urge your guests to carpool to reduce the number of parking spaces needed and reduce emissions releases. It will also free up space in your driveway.

Donate to environmental charities

Get everyone to chip in a pound or two and bet on the time of the first touchdown or the player they think will score first. You can save some of the money back for the winner, while the rest can go to an environmental charity such as FareShare or Greenpeace. Alternatively, you could make your charity a little closer to home by supporting sustainability initiatives in your local community.

Celebrate sportsmanship and sustainability

Stay firmly in the green zone by hosting a zero-waste Super Bowl party that’s both fun and environmentally-friendly. With a winning strategy that combines the event’s excitement with the useful tips in this guide, you can set a positive example for your guests ahead of the big game.

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