The HarBowl. Kaepernicking. Ray Lewis' squirrel dance. Even if those words mean nothing to you, you're more than likely still planning to attend some type of Super Bowl party this upcoming Sunday.
Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most watched televised programs in the United States. No matter the level of interest in the actual game, it's one of the rare times a program brings people together of all backgrounds and interests.
This is probably why the Super Bowl is the second-largest food consumption holiday of the year, according to the USDA. This means Super Bowl Sunday is behind Thanksgiving, but ahead of Christmas when it comes to people chowing down. That also can result in quite a bit of waste.
As Americans get ready to buy, prepare and consume way too much food and drinks, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) offers some ways to reduce waste on this day dedicated to football.
"We all want to lighten our environmental footprint without sacrificing the things we love, such as big game day celebrations and tailgate parties," said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the ACC, which sponsors the Plastics Make it Possible initiative. "Plastics we use in the kitchen can help us prepare, transport, serve and store our favorite game day food and drinks while creating less waste."
Here are a few tips from Plastics Make it Possible on how sports fans can do more with less, and contribute to sustainability, on game day:
- Less Packaging: Look for multi-function packaging. For example, some prepared foods now are available in plastic packaging that keeps food fresh on store shelves, transforms into a convenient serving dish during the party, and re-seals to protect food during storage, creating less waste and clean-up.
- Less Packaging Waste: Choose new minimalist packaging designs made with thin, lightweight plastics that protect food using less material, resulting in less packaging waste and reduced fuel consumption in transport.
- Less Food Waste: Don't forget airtight plastic storage containers to help keep prepared foods fresh while transporting them to parties and tailgates. These durable, lightweight containers are easy to carry and also can be used as serving dishes, which results in less cleanup. Simply re-seal the container and refrigerate or freeze to preserve leftovers and prevent wasted food.
- More Streamlined Food Prep: Plastic kitchen tools help make game day food prep easier and quicker, so fans can spend more time enjoying the game and less in the kitchen. Use silicone plastic mats and baking molds to help cooked foods slide out easily-they also reduce the amount of added fats needed to make game day treats.
- More Recycled Plastics: It now is easy to find kitchen tools made with recycled plastics from used beverage bottles, yogurt containers, milk jugs, or other products. Look online or at local retailers for kitchenware made with recycled plastics to help keep valuable material out of landfills.
- More Plastics Recycling: Consumers in more than 90% of the U.S. can recycle plastic beverage bottles and caps, and nearly 58 % can recycle plastic containers from foods such as yogurt, dips, spreads and sour cream. Place a clearly labeled recycling bin next to the trashcan to make it easy for guests to recycle. Plastic bags and wraps can be returned for recycling to participating retail stores, such as Target and Lowe's.
Also, people can make sure they're recycling everything they can by visiting Earth911.com and typing in a local zip code to find out what's accepted in community recycling programs.
In addition, Plastics Makes it Possible has teamed up with four food bloggers in a Game Day Recipe challenge to create Super Bowl recipes with help from plastic packaging and kitchen tools. People have until Feb. 3 to vote online for their favorite recipe and be entered in a giveaway for one of five $250 gift cards.
If you check out the recipes, each blogger specifically highlights the usage of plastics in the kitchen, along with tips on how to generate less waste.
Are you ready for some sustainable football parties?