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How to Throw a Sustainable Game Day Party

Written by: Andrea Tudor

How to Throw a Sustainable Game Day Party

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest party days of the year. And while nothing is more fun than gathering with friends and family, these parties usually come with a lot more trash--pizza boxes, chip bags, beer cans... you name it. However, it is possible to have a great Game Day party without a ton of waste--it just takes a little bit of planning.

One way to entertain the eco way is to say no to paper, plastic, and other single-use goods. Using real plates and dishes makes an event feel more special anyway! It might add a little more time to your clean-up, but it’s worth it when it comes to taking care of our planet. And remember: your guests will likely offer to jump in to help.

Pro tip from Liz: "Make sure your dishwasher is empty going into the party. Nothing is worse than having a guest jump in to help and having to empty your dishwasher and ask where every item goes."

If you’re worried about things breaking or you don’t have enough dishes and utensils for everyone consider the following options:

  • Invest in melamine or reusable unbreakable plates and dishware. This is a great option if you'll have kids and toddlers in attendance. 

  • Head to a thrift store. You'll be amazed how many dish and utensil sets you'll be able to find! In addition to being wallet-friendly, this route is even more eco-conscious because they likely won't be re-wrapped in tons of packaging needed for shipping and displaying.

  • Rent your dishware. Local rental companies like AC Party Rentals offer a full variety of rentals for party needs, and they do the cleaning too! Just clear the food from the plates and put them in a bin, and they take care of the rest. Chairs, tables, and linens are also available to rent for affordable prices.

Here are a couple of other ways you can limit your Game Day waste:

  • When choosing the beer you'll be serving, consider the container it comes in. Ordering a keg and using real glassware (or reusable plastic glasses like the ones made by GoVino) are great ways to reduce the overall amount of trash generated.

Pro tip from Drea: "If you need a little variety, get a small keg of something crowd-pleasing, like a 1/6 barrel, and add in a couple of local brews in cans or bottles for the more adventurous beer drinkers. Locally produced beer requires a lot less fuel to get to you!"


  • If you're having your Game Day party catered, ask your caterer if you can provide your own platters and serving dishes.

  • Serve water, iced tea, and lemonade in pitchers or beverage dispensers rather than offering them in single-use plastic bottles.

  • Save any plastic take-out containers you accumulate over the year and use them to send people home with leftovers after the party. This will keep them out of the trash and reduce food waste. Best of all: you won't have to pay a dime!

Most importantly, be realistic. Zero-waste is a great goal, but like any major habit change, it often takes lots of tiny swaps over time to get there. Start with swaps you know you'll stick to now, and add more once those swaps become second nature.

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