Super Bowl parties are a nationwide staple and it is one of the few times where everyone invited brings something. Now that the two teams have been decided, let the scurry for who is having the best party and the preparation for epic trash talking begin. Amid all the buildup of the big game, there are opportunities to make this year's Super Bowl party the most charitable one ever. And you won't have to miss any commercials while giving back to your favorite causes.
Go Big or Go Pay Up
If you are so convinced about who is going to win, make a bet with an interesting twist. Make a friendly wager that the team you pick will win and the person who loses can donate the cash to the winner's favorite charity. If not for money, then how about time? You can agree on the winner getting to choose a full Saturday of volunteering at a local nonprofit organization. Nonprofits could always use help washing dishes, sorting through donations, or rebuilding a desolated community. If your heart is in the right place, you won't mind losing this bet and you could encourage other down-and-out fans to join you!
Deep Pass for Pantry Products
If you are hosting a party, send a message to your guests to encourage them to bring canned goods and other non-perishable items. If you are attending a party, send this suggestion to the host(s) so they can get a head start on the best ways to gather and donate goods to a local food bank. You are most likely bringing something anyway -- why not search your pantry for surplus food and contribute it to people in need?
- Game-time decisions: While we are on the subject of food, the party hosts are often left with plenty of extras they may forget about and or simply allow it to expire. Be diligent about not opening another bag of chips, or dipping sauce, or two liter beverage, when there may be one of each already open just 4th & inches away. By doing so, a group of you can take all the unopened items to the food bank, adding to your overall act of kindness.
Dive for Recycling
You may only end up with a couple of trash bags after the big game. But multiply that by millions of others who also have friends and family over for the day's festivities. Take the initiative to have three separate trash cans that are clearly and boldly labeled: Paper, Plastic and Glass. This way, your guests can easily support your do-good attitude and feel like they have made a difference as well. If everyone who reads this post takes part, we can collectively "outsmart waste" and you can even get paid through TerraCycle's innovative recycling platform.
Score Big Points With Neighbors
The more the merrier, right? Consider inviting your neighbors over if you don't expect a packed house. Not the ones who you caught living out their fantasy in your bathroom the last time they stopped by. Come to think of it, did you even invite them? Awkwardness aside, invite the ones who always bring a nice bottle of wine and manage to keep their hands off each other for a few hours. There is a chance they were going to drive a few miles away just to watch it at a bar. Or they would have their lights on to watch the same game. In either case, walking to your party will result in lower carbon emissions for the roads or electricity usage in their homes. Score for the environment!
Have you noticed when people have parties all the lights tend to be on? Someone rushes to see a play and forgets to turn off the bathroom light. And there is always that random friend of a friend who shows up too early and immediately asks for a tour of your place. You begrudgingly oblige, but in the haste of giving them the Manti Te'o version (leaving a lot to be desired), you forget to hit the off switch in all the rooms. The same is true for appliances and products. You may have done a great job preparing the food, yet it is important to unplug all the equipment that isn't in use. Though it only saves you a couple dollars on your energy bill, your consciousness this day may lead to long term habits and even set examples for others to conserve energy.
Losers Go Shirtless
If you are a die-hard fan of one of the teams battling for Super Bowl glory, I internet-dare you to bet your NFL apparel on it. Agree that whoever loses the bet between you and a willing friend, that person will donate their shirt or jersey to a charity who accepts lightly use clothes for underserved populations. If you are in the Houston area, I would like to shamelessly ask losers of the bet to send their gear to Mia"s Closet, a nimble nonprofit organization that provides pop-up shopping experiences for the city's youth. The passionate crew will turn your disappointment into a big smile for young boys and girls who love sports just as much as you.
Social Media Blitz
Let's face it -- one of the best parts of chartable acts is sharing it with others. Before and during the game, you can tweet, Facebook share, and upload pictures to Instagram to social-brag about how awesome your Super Bowl Sunday is going. Note to single guys: Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Miss Alabama Katherine Webb is already taken, but by posting your good deeds, the chances of her seeing it and suddenly introducing you to one of her single Miss America friends increases by at least .001 percent. Webb had her stroke her luck by getting ogled on national television so, it could happen.