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10 Ways to Green your Super Bowl Experience

Each year the National Football League (NFL) spends time and energy on Green-oriented projects throughout the city where the Super Bowl is taking place. 

Although most of us won’t be going to the actual game a good segment of the population will watch it from the comfort of their own homes and likely in the company of groups of others.

These gatherings, sometimes large, can be a lot of fun as Super Bowl Sunday takes on a life of its own in many communities. Nevertheless, the event has the potential to produce large amounts of waste and wasted resources across the country.

That being the case it’s important our enjoyment of the game, win or lose, doesn’t come at the expense of local environments. After all, games come and go but the environment is here to stay and we need to take care of it as best we can. 

That said the following are a few tips for greening the Super Bowl experience so it’s a win-win situation for everyone. 

1.    Shopping: Super Bowl parties usually require a lot of food and drink which means groceries galore. When going shopping try reusing plastic bags or bring your own packs for hauling purchases home. This will help cut down on adding to the billions of plastic bags already in use. Also, wherever applicable buy local and fair trade.  

2.    Tableware: Instead of using regular plastic disposables which can take hundreds of years to biodegrade go with reusable plates, silverware, and cups. Afraid to use your own with a big crowd? When you send out those electronic invitations to your Super Bowl party saying BYOB (bring your own beer) write BYOT (bring your own tableware). Doing so will lower the amount of waste, cleanup, and perhaps give family and friends a lesson in how to cut disposables out of their own lives. 

3.    Plastic bottles: If you enjoy soda but want to consume less plastic bottles purchase a soda water maker and add your own flavors. Also, instead of buying bottled water utilize the tap more. 

4.    Recycle: Some eco-friendly disposables are 100% biodegradable and will simply decompose in a landfill. Under the assumption everything else isn’t going to be washed and reused or repurposed set up a series of clearly marked bins for recycling plastic, glass, paper, and tin. It can be a great opportunity to teach others to do the same in their homes and you can even make an announcement during one of the commercials briefly explaining how your household takes on this task.

5.    Napkins: Paper napkins will biodegrade easily but in the spirit of consuming less cut up napkin-size pieces of fabric for your guests to use. After the game they can be washed and reused on other occasions. 

6.    Compost: Station a bucket in the kitchen with a list of things that can be composted. This will prevent unnecessary waste from going into the trash. The compost will eventually decompose in the garden feeding amazing nutrients to your soil. The effects may not be immediate but by June you’ll be marveling at how well your tomato plants are doing. 

7.    Cleaning: When prepping the home for guests and then cleaning up afterward use eco-friendly products that won’t harm the environment and won’t fill indoor air with toxic fumes. 

8.    Utilities: Tell everyone to wear layers because even though it's winter and the burner is running they shouldn’t expect the temperature to be turned up high. Not only will keeping the thermostat at modest levels save on your household energy costs but it reduces your carbon footprint too.

9.    Transportation: Guests should carpool to your home or use public transportation instead of each person driving separately. It will save on gasoline and again, minimize the environmental impact. 

10.    Healthy snacks: Last but not least we all eat enough junk food throughout the year so why not make this the start of a brand new effort to live off healthier options. Eating better can make a difference in the way we relate to our surroundings and how we treat the world around us. It's one of the best ways to green your game and have a winning Super Bowl experience.

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for