Super Bowl LIII is coming up on Sunday, Feb. 3. Whether you and your friends tune in for Todd Gurley, Sony Michel, Maroon 5 or the highly-anticipated Doritos commercial, your get together is sure to generate good memories — and extraneous carbon emissions. However, a few easy changes can reduce your effect on the environment without negatively affecting your enjoyment. The best part? You’ll probably save some money, too. Here are four ways to get sustainable:
1. Bring your own … plate?
You’ve probably already thought about what boozy beverage you’ll be bringing to your Super Bowl celebration, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Rather than buying paper or plastic cups, plates and eating utensils, ask your guests to bring their own reusable items from home. You’ll never mistake someone else’s drink for your own, and you’ll significantly reduce your waste at the same time. If the party is a potluck, ask your friends to bring their dishes in reusable Tupperware instead of plastic or aluminum disposable packaging.
2. Make it meatless
Yes, it’s finally time to try one of those cauliflower Buffalo wings recipes you or your significant other has pinned to their Pinterest board. Eating meat and poultry products requires land, copious amounts of water and generates carbon emissions. According to the United States Geological Survey, an estimated 500 gallons of water are used to make one pound of chicken. If you’re feeling extra eco-friendly, you can attempt to create your Super Bowl dish without generating any waste through packaging.
3. Review your recycling
You might have a recycling bin, but do you actually know what you can and can’t recycle?Before your party, brush up on your Athens-Clarke County recycling knowledge to make sure you do it right. Remember that Athens is single-stream recycling, so no plastic bags, and no pizza boxes with food residue on the box. Also, plastic and glass packaging needs to be rinsed out or else the food residue will ruin the whole recycling batch and prevent the items from being properly recycled.
4. Ditch the decor
If you were planning on purchasing decorations, here’s your excuse not to. Many decorations are made of mixed materials, making them impossible to recycle. Balloons — while a fun touch — aren’t recyclable. They can biodegrade only if they are made of latex, but they won’t biodegrade if you throw them in the trash because landfills don’t break down waste. Biodegradation takes years, so throwing your balloons out the window isn’t an eco-friendly option. Save your money and clean your living room instead — your guests will thank you.