January 31, 2014

How to host a sustainable and eco-friendly Superbowl partyFootball fans around the country are gearing up for the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2. As a student of a Boulder culinary arts program, you might be rooting for the Broncos, and a great way to show support is to host a party. Of course, you want to show off your cooking skills the right way by choosing sustainable ingredients and eco-friendly practices. Here are a few tips to help you plan your green game-day party:

Choose better meat
On average, Americans consume about 1.25 million wings – altogether, that’s 100 million pounds of poultry – on Super Bowl Sunday. You can follow tradition and serve buffalo chicken wings and delicious burgers at your party that are sustainable by being choosy about the meat. Look for pasture-raised high-wellfare birds at your grocery store. The burgers you grill should be made with grass-fed beef.

Buy local and sustainable
Get your game day protein and other ingredients from local, organic and sustainable sources. Head out to the farmers market and talk to the vendors gathered there. They can tell you what practices they use to grow their crops and raise their animals. Buy products in bulk to cut back on waste and support your local farmers.

Look into food hubs in your area. These organizations help local farms get their products to bigger markets, such as grocery stores. By calling a food hub near you, you can discover which grocery stores carry local products.

Cook it yourself
You’re on your way to becoming a chef, so why not get some practice on game day? Avoid buying processed foods stored in bags that will just sit in landfills. You can make your own chips, cook up some delicious wings and invent a signature dipping sauce. Your house can become the Super Bowl foodie spot in your neighborhood.

Serve on real dishes
Handing real plates to a hoard of crazed football fans can be scary, but it’s better than wasting paper plates and plastic utensils. You don’t have to use your good dishes, but you should definitely avoid disposable options. Pull out the dishes you want to use ahead of time so that they are all ready for you to serve up your delicious creations.

Support local breweries
Make game day a time to support the businesses in your area by purchasing beer from a microbrewery near you. While the big names in beer might be popular during Super Bowl time, a case of local ale, pilsner or IPA will probably end up being a crowd favorite. Either pick up the drink a few days ahead of time or have a guest grab it on the way.

Chances are you’ll have some waste on game day, even if you put out cloth napkins and reusable cups. Have two garbage cans prepared, one for trash and one for recycling. Mark the front of each or hang a sign over them so guests know where to dispose their garbage. Serve filtered or tap water in a pitcher instead of buying bottled.