Super Bowl Striving to Up Their Green Game

Every year, as the Super Bowl approaches, I begin to see discussions pop up as to how green can the Super Bowl really get. With millions of people watching the game and so much being spent on food, energy, transportation, lodging and the game itself, it is kind of hard to believe very many green, or environmentally-friendly measures are being taken.

This year, however, I have been seeing more and more articles and blog posts about the green actions being taken by the NFL, the Super Bowl host city (New Orleans), the fans and others. One example is this article about how the Super Bowl could actually cause a drop in household energy use. Go figure. And by the time this Discovery article was written, football fans had already pledged to save upwards of 22.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide. All of this is part of the Geaux Green movement launched by the New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee to cut harmful emissions at all levels.

Take a look at these shocking Super Bowl food facts though. An estimated $50 million dollars will be spent by fans who are stocking up for the big game. The question then becomes, however, how much of that food will be eaten and how much will end up going to waste. Chips, sodas, and prepackages foods are more likely to be wasted, whereas homemade dishes are more likely to be eaten or saved for leftovers. Here are a few Super Bowl dishes that nutritionists serve to keep calories in check and 7 healthier ideas for your Super Bowl snackdown. (Not a bad idea, don’t you think?)

As far as those of us who are going to be watching the game from the comfort of home, there are simple actions we can take to curb our environmental impact, such as recycling, using reusable products, ditching the water bottles, making food/snacks from scratch, and more.

Here are some of the actions being taken by the New Orleans Host Committee to host the “greenest game in Super Bowl history”:

  • The energy use from all major Super Bowl venues will be offset by the purchase of carbon credits,
  • Local residents will be able to take advantage of a free bike valet and bike sharing service,
  • Fans going to the game will have access to a simple and inexpensive way to offset their travel emissions,
  • There will be 7,000 trees planted or donated to help replenish the region’s urban forest,
  • Hike for KaTREEna, another group who has joined up with the NFL and the Super Bowl Environmental Committee, will be helping plant trees at five playgrounds around New Orleans on February 2nd,
  • In coordination with the EPA, the host committee is also joining together with area youth for a coastal restoration volunteer event that is scheduled to take place Saturday, February 2nd,
  • REpurposingNOLA will be taking banners and other materials from the Super Bowl and repurposing them,
  • The Green Project has been brought on to repurpose and recycle materials, like carpets, so they can be resold to the general public,
  • The Green Light New Orleans initiative will be installing 80,000 energy efficient light bulbs in local homes, for free,
  • and Second Harvest Food Bank will be on the ball and ready to collect excess prepared foods from the close to 50 events being held throughout Super Bowl weekend, and deliver them to local shelters and food kitchen to help feed the homeless.

For a more complete list on the actions being taken to green the XLVII Super Bowl, you can visit the New Orleans Host Committee website.

Wherever you are going to be this weekend, whether you are watching the big game or not, try and see what you can do to green up your weekend and lower your environmental impact, even if you already do so on a regular basis.

New Orleans Superdome image by iam_ chihang  / Flickr Creative Commons
Super Bowl Coin image by Au Kirk / Flickr Creative Commons

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