Friday, January 29, 2010

Supe Supe Super Bowl Green


I love the Super Bowl. Maybe it's because I have three sons, or maybe it's because I have such cherished memories of watching the Super Bowl with my husband when we were dating (back when the Giants were the team to watch!).

Now, as a Green Mom, I'm still enjoying the Super Bowl but with a eco-twist. I put together some ideas for you to enjoy your get together this year, guilt-free-and-earth-friendly!

When Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints square off with Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday, February 7, 2010, you want to have your party packed with good friends, good food and plenty of taking-care-of-the-planet food and drink. When I define something as green, it goes like this: locally made/produced/manufactured=less travel time, hence kinder on the environment, organic or made without harmful preservative, chemicals, pesticides or dyes and recycle-able or biodegradable. Now, there are other options, but for today, that's what we're going to stick with.

Here are some of my suggestions:

Tip #1: MIND YOUR PAPERWARES

-Send out electronic invites or emails; about 1/3 of all household waste is paper-cut back on invites and save some trees
-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, 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 in 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 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.

Going along with the buy local theme, Wild Blossom 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 – Below I posted a recipe using Amylu’s chicken sausage. I simply love this brand (which is found at Whole Foods Market) 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: 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 factory made hummuses. She will be showcasing both the Jardinière Hummus (pronounced Jar-din-air) hummus made with spicy Jardinière and made with freshly cooked garbanzo beans (garbanzo bean consumption in the US increased by 19% in 2009). You should also try 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 are a little gem that I discovered at the Food Stuffs store in Glenview. There are no preservatives or trans fats and the chips are handmade by Jamie herself here in Chicago and are a great addition to your green Super Bowl party. It has been said that Jamie’s chips are so addicting, you’ll eat the whole bag…have a taste and you can see for yourself.

Tip #4: GREEN YOUR CLEAN UP

Clean up without a lot of excess waste – here are some easy 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.

RECIPE:
Sausages by Amylu Chicken Sausage Chili
Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS:
4 links Sausages by Amylu Gourmet Andouille Chicken Sausage
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 large Onion, chopped (frozen diced works great, too!)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
4 oz. Mushrooms, quartered
2 cans Black beans, drained, rinsed
16-oz. can Chicken broth
14.5-oz. can Diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1 Chipotle pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. Dried oregano
1 tsp. Ground cumin
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. White pepper

Optional Garnishes:
2 Green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. Green or black olives, sliced
2 Tbsp. Cilantro, finely chopped
Shredded Cheddar cheese and/or sour cream

DIRECTIONS:
Dice Sausages by Amylu Andouille Chicken sausage into bite size chunks.
Heat oil in a large dutch-oven or pot; sauté onions, garlic, jalapeño; cook 5 minutes.
Add diced Chicken Sausage and mushrooms; cook about 5 minutes (until lightly browned).
Add beans, broth, tomatoes, tomato paste and herbs; heat to a boil.
Reduce heat to low; simmer until vegetables are tender about 10-15 minutes.

Get Your Game On!!

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Great Tips :)

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Scott James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott James said...

Hi Beth, don't forget to green the football itself! Every Bowl party needs an eco-certified football to toss around during the commercial breaks.

You can learn more about ours at our blog: uwww.fairtradesports.com. Stop by for a visit!

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Brianne said...

Great tips! And your recipe sounds yummy. I know people buy paper plates and plastic utensils for easy clean up- but thats what dish washers are for. And you save money!

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Ecofacts said...

In Response to:Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should be ashamed to affiliate yourself with Marcal. They are the biggest air and water polluter in the state of New Jersey, and have been fined billions by the EPA. They filed for bankruptcy to avoid their responsibilities, as well as break their union contract.
For them to claim to be a green, eco-friendly company is a joke, as well as a lie. You association with them makes me question your credibility. Please don't promote thier products. They do much more harm than good. That is a fact you can look up.

February 13, 2010 6:16 AM

All of us at Marcal welcome valid criticism and open discussion on blogs (and everywhere), but we want you to know that this person leaves comments like the one here anytime he or she sees something written about us…and leaves them anonymously, so there is no way we can get in touch and set the facts straight. The phrases used are always very similar, the kind of pattern that almost shouts, ”spam campaign.” This kind of nameless attack isn’t in the open spirit of blogs, and we think it’s a disservice to readers and to our hard-earned reputation. The simple fact is that we make our products in a manufacturing system designed to minimize our environmental impact.
We invite the person making these attacks to come pay us a visit; we have nothing to hide! We think our actions speak for themselves; otherwise, why would a group like the NRDC cite our factory in a discussion of companies leading the way environmentally in the New York metro area? (http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/egoldstein/green_apples_and_bad_apples_nr.html).
Marcal didn’t recently “paint itself green.” We’ve been using recycled paper since 1950, long before green was in. As for the lawsuit, it was settled with no admission of wrong doing, enabling the company to emerge from bankruptcy to protect and grow jobs under a new owner and management team that understands that, if you are going to market yourself as green, you better do things right.
Are we perfect? Of course not, but we are always striving to be better. We invite anyone with questions about our practices to contact us at ecofacts@marcalpaper.com

Anonymous said...

So would you be willing to have your CEO swim across the river next to your plant? And post the video on your website? And where do you dispose of the clay byproducts from your manufacturing process?

Anonymous said...

If Marcal is so concerned about the environment, why don't they:
1) Tell us how to use less paper. There are many ways. Cloth napkins, hanky's and towels all make much more eco-sense. You can use discarded clothes, and be much more green
2)Stop shipping product made in NJ, across the US. Would make a much bigger environmental impact.
3)Clean the river next to their plant, that they have polluted for 50 years and destroyed. Why not clean that up, with their illicit, false green claims. You can't walk away from your past. Even though they are trying.
And a good PR campaign can win many awards. But facts, when properly examined, speak for themselves. If you think Marcal is eco-friendly, I am Santa Clause, Virginia.

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