Sustainability and the Super Bowl

MetLife Stadium green Super Bowl XLVIII

Sustainability and the Super Bowl. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest food consumption day (second only to Thanksgiving). Unfortunately, even with that being the case, not all of the food people make, buy or order will be consumed. Much of it will go to waste. You also need to consider all of the non-recyclable paper products that will be used, the millions of plastic water and drink containers yet to be consumed, and the hundreds of millions that will be spent on game day gear, souvenirs, electronic equipment and other purchases. Oh yes, don’t forget to factor in all of the people who plan on going to MetLife Stadium or heading out to a local bar, a friend’s house or other place where they can watch the big game. All of those actions add up to a significant amount of food waste, trash, harmful emissions and other things that are simply not good for the environment. Despite all of the money, expense and consumption happening both at this year’s big game and with the millions of people watching from the comfort of their homes, there are efforts being taken to make this game more sustainable than in years past.

  • MetLife Stadium itself is one of the greenest stadiums around. It is also filled with technological advancements that few other stadiums can boast of at this time. As the stadium is in an urban area and close to a wide variety of public transportation services, most people will not even need to worry about using their own vehicle to get to the game. It is an open stadium which means there are no significant heat-related costs and it has solar panels to tap into the sun’s renewable energy source. The stadium seats are made of recycled materials and the bathrooms are filled with low-flow toilets and waterless urinals. Read more about the green aspects of MetLife Stadium.
  • In the weeks leading up to the big game, Verizon, the NFL and the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee got together to hold a number of electronic recycling events and encourage people to recycle their electronic waste.
  • MetLife Stadium dining options are also planned to be the greenest in history. Why? Well, waste oil will be converted to biodiesel fuel, kitchen scraps will be composted, leftover food will be donated to local shelters and soup kitchens, and all recyclable materials will be recycled.
  • I know I mentioned the solar energy generated by the panels on the stadium itself, but the NFL Environmental Program has also teamed up with PSEG to provide entirely renewable energy for the Super Bowl. Every megawatt hour of electricity used during the game will be offset with the purchase of one renewable energy credit. Hopefully all of their efforts will help ensure the lights stay on during the game.

Well, those are just a few of the things the NFL and the Super Bowl are doing to improve their sustainability efforts. What about you? What are you doing to ensure your game day celebration will be green and sustainable? Did you buy recyclable products? Are you carpooling or having friends over for a potluck? Do you have a compost bin set up? These little actions we take all add up. So, let’s do our part to make this year’s big game a little more sustainable than in the years before.

MetLife Stadium image by Anthony Quintano via Flickr Creative Commons license.

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