If you’re throwing a party for the Super Bowl—or any other occasion—don’t use disposable plates and utensils just because they seem simpler. Regular dishes are just as fast to assemble, and you can always enlist post-game volunteers to do dishes. Check our organizing list for a no-waste shindig.
Plates, cups, bowls
Glass, pottery, and wood are reusable and easily washed, and won’t clog the landfills for the next 100 years. If you must buy disposable cups or plates, purchase post-consumer recycled paper rather than Styrofoam.
Forego the toxic plastics and stick with stainless steel.
Cloth are best even for informal events. Make your own napkins using the good parts of a soiled tablecloth.
Dishtowels and rags are better cleaner-uppers than paper towels because they absorb more, you can reuse them, and they don’t waste trees. Buy only recycled, unbleached, dioxin-free paper towels.
Give up soda and other beverages sold in plastic bottles. Drink water filtered at home and serve fruit juices in pitchers. Bottled and canned beverages can at least be recycled. An alternative to punch or soda is to make a strong batch of fruity herbal tea and mix it with equal parts apple juice. Chill and serve.
Buy mustard, ketchup and salad dressings in glass jars rather than plastic, and opt for organic over conventional products.
Ideas from The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook, by Rachel Albert-Matesz & Don Matesz (Planetary Press, 2004).