February 2, 2010 --
The Super Bowl is right around the corner and if you're like most of us, you're preparing to host one fantastic Super Bowl party. But how do you host a cool party and still be kind to Mother Earth? Beth Aldrich, a healthy lifestyle-green living specialist and author of The Green Mom Blog (thegreenmom.blogspot.com/
) has some tips on how you can make your Super Bowl parties a little healthier and earth-friendly this year.
Tip#1: MIND YOUR PAPERWARES Send electronic invitations. About one-third of all household trash is paper waste so by skipping the invites you have an easy way to cut back on paper waste. And, if you do use any paper products of any kind, be sure to recycle them. Using sustainable serving wares is a great way to make your party green and still convenient and functional. In other words, you want the convenience of using disposables, but you don't want to create a ton of waste. Chicago-based Solo Cup recently rolled out a line of plates, bowls and containers called Bare by Solo, (www.barebysolo.com) which are made from compostable, renewable, or recyclable materials. The square plates, for example, are made from renewable sugarcane, and the clear cups are made with 20% post-consumer recycled plastic and are recyclable themselves. Don't buy decorations you'll use once and throw away, instead display your husband's jerseys, team shirts, hats, footballs and any sports paraphernalia you have hanging around the house. It sets the mood for football with zero waste!
Tip #2: BUY LOCAL
No Super Bowl party is complete without tasty beverages, including beer! So why not buy local brands? Buying local is kinder to Mother Earth, as the products don't have to ship across country just to make it to your Super Bowl bash. Goose Island beer (www.gooseisland.com)is not only brewed locally, but also it is a brand that promotes a sustainable lifestyle and has sustainable practices. All of its brewing facilities use renewable energy and the majority of its packaging is from local vendors who use recycled materials too. Wild Blossom (www.wildblossomwines.com ) is Chicago's first winery and Illinois' only meadery on the Northern Illinois Wine Trail. The company uses local honey (produced from local honey bees that collect nectar from the prairies of Illinois and the sand dunes of Lake Michigan) and fruits. They also do tours of their winery. Very cool! Wine tastes delicious too.
Tip #3: GO GREEN ? AND HEALTHY ? WITH YOUR FOOD SPREAD
A Super Bowl party can be fun ? and healthy too! Here are some regional food companies that can help make your party more eco-friendly and healthier too! Amylu's Chicken Sausage Chili (www.atkfoods.com/brands/sausagesbyamylu): Try Beth's easy chili recipe using Amylu's chicken sausage. Beth loves this brand (which is found at Whole Foods) because it is made from skinless, all natural chicken. It's fresh, never frozen, adding a healthy spin for your party. Chef Earl's Dips ( chefearls.com): These fantastic dips are found locally at local Whole Foods Market stores and are healthier dip options vs. your traditional ranch and sour cream based dips. The fresh ingredients used in the dips are all locally grown/made (no artificial ingredients). All natural and smooth unlike some factory-made hummus. Beth recommends the Jardini?re Hummus (pronounced Jar-din-air) hummus made with spicy Jardini?re and made with freshly cooked garbanzo beans (garbanzo bean consumption in the US increased by 19% in 2009). She also likes the Cucumber Dill Hummus (made with fresh cucumbers and dill). A fresh departure from your everyday bland dips. Great with veggie plates, pita bread or even chips! Jamie's Flour Tortilla Chips (jamieschips.blogspot.com) are a little gem Beth discovered at the Food Stuffs store in Glenview. There are no preservatives or trans fats. The chips are handmade by Jamie herself here in Chicago and are a great addition to your green Super Bowl party. Beth warns that Jamie's chips are so addicting, you'll eat the whole bag.
Tip #4: GREEN YOUR CLEAN UP
Going green means clean up without a lot of excess waste; here are some of her tips: If you used plastic utensils, you can hand wash them or even run them in your dishwasher. No need to throw them away. Better yet, just use regular silverware. Easier to clean up than plates and you do a small part to be a little greener. If you ordered pizza like most party-goers, did you know you can recycle the pizza box? Just tear off the greasy part and recycle the rest. Make sure you recycle or compost your paper plates and cups if possible. Throw away as little as possible. Remember to use recycled paper towels and napkins and biodegradable trash bags to keep your party green through and through.
Sausages by Amylu Chicken Sausage Chili