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Tips for a sustainable Super Bowl party

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Going 'whole hog' for the ultimate pigskin party of the year does not mean you have to abandon your commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. There are many ways you can host a fabulous get together and not feel guilty about your choices. You can find sustainable options for invitations, food, drink and serving ware. Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness and so will the earth!

Sustainable invitations
Sustainable invitations www.thisnext.com

Sustainable invitations

A good party begins with an attention getting invitation.  These invites no longer need to waste paper in their printing nor utilize transportation resources in their delivery. There are several online invitation services that can deliver a themed invitation directly to the recipients email box...one of which is 'Evite'. You can also encourage your guests to take advantage of public transportation to the party or carpool with other attendees.

Shop locally
Shop locally www.jbgorganic.com

Shop locally

One of the best ways to purchase the food for your party is to shop locally.  This not only helps local businesses but also reduces the amount of energy that has to be used to transport the items to the point of purchase.  Shop your local farmers market (if it runs year round) and plan your menu around in season fruits and vegetables and locally raised meats. If you don't have access to a farmers market, shop at a locally owned grocery store that carries local items.  Wheatsville Coop, Central Market and even HEB proudly advertise local produce and other items.

Serve homemade food
Serve homemade food www.pinkofperfection.com

Serve homemade food

Not only does homemade party food taste better, it is good for your health. Make your own dips and salsa from fresh and locally sourced ingredients. You can even make your own chips by baking pieces of corn tortillas. In Austin, the local farmers markets feature vendors that sell these items already prepared. You could offer a pizza 'bar' where folks can decorate a variety of pre-made dough (even gluten free) which they can then custom decorate.

If you don't make your own beer or wine, many Austin stores sell a wide variety of locally produced beverages.  There are even several non-alcoholic options available.

Sustainable serving items
Sustainable serving items www.shopatdean.com

Sustainable serving items

One of the most important components of a sustainable party is what you serve your food and drink in.  If you compost there are more and more options becoming available. Many of these items are made from corn and are biodegradable in a compost bin.  It should be noted that this works best if you compost large amounts and are able to maintain a fairly warm mixture. 

While paper plates with food residue cannot be recycled, they can be placed in your compost.  If you do not compost, you may want to avoid paper plates and look for plastic plates and cups that can be rinsed.

Another option is to use plates and glasses that can be run through the dishwasher.  While this uses hot water and extra energy, it is far more preferable than using items that will end up in a landfill.

Reduce heating costs
Reduce heating costs www.sutterhearth.com

Reduce heating costs

Unless the NFL drastically rearranges its calendar, the Super Bowl is always going to take place during the coldest time of the year.

If you live in a cold climate and are lucky enough to have a fireplace, go ahead and get a fire going for your party.   This is especially efficient if you have a wood burning fireplace rather than  gas. A fire will help heat your house, thereby reducing the amount of time your furnace has to operate during the party.

If you live in a place like Austin where it can get cool in the winter, invite guests not glued to the television to step outside and gather around a warm fire pit.

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