Written by editor Nicole Bennett.

Even if you aren”t a football fan, the big game this weekend is a great opportunity for hanging out with family and friends. (If you do like football, even better!) I see events like this as the perfect opportunity to casually model a little of my natural living passions with friends and family members who are coming over.

If you”re hosting a party, here are a few reminders for how to make your day a little less commercial and store-bought. If you”re not taking part in any football-watching festivities this weekend, you just might save/modify these ideas for making your next get-together a little more green and homemade!

Use Real, Not Disposable

I know it”s tempting to just go for the paper (even football-themed) alternatives on a day when people are coming over, but disposable eating accessories are super wasteful. In fact, Americans toss out enough paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons every year to circle the equator 300 times (source). Yikes!

I find that throwing a bunch of plates and silverware in the dishwasher and napkins in the laundry doesn”t cost me much in the way of time or water. For outside parties, you sometimes might worry about using breakables, but most likely this party will be indoors which means it”s less risky. Plus, using the real stuff sort of takes your entertaining up a notch in class if you ask me. 🙂

If you really want to get cutesy, you could easily find some football fabric to cut with pinking shears into some quick no-sew napkins… hmm, I might have to do that myself!

Serve Homemade

It”s super easy to pick up ready-made platters or packaged snacks for a football party, but those platters are probably filled with nitrate-filled lunchmeat and both options offer more packaging to be thrown away.

Instead, take a few extra minutes to make some homemade guacamole, 7-layer bean dip, hummus, or maybe the grasshopper cake with candy footballs that I made a few years ago. Or, try one of the options I”m making this weekend:

Katie must have been reading my mind, because she posted this  yesterday which also sounds amazing! All the homemade options might not be healthy per se, but they”re likely to have less of the processed filler ingredients.

Photo by Hangar 24 Brewery

Buy Local

If you don”t have time to whip up your own, or if you”re looking for something unique for the party, try a local specialty.

We”ll be serving up chips and salsa from our favorite local taco shop on Sunday.

Find local beer to bring, shop the farmer”s market (if you have year-round) for some fruits or veggies to chop up, or visit your local natural food store, as many of them often showcase local growers and producers.

Are you celebrating the Big Game this weekend? How will you put a green or homemade spin on the festivities?