When you think of the Super Bowl, what do you think of? Most likely the first thing to pop into your mind is not “environmentally-conscience”, but perhaps it should be. The Super Bowl XLVI Environmental Program is jam packed with tons of great environmentally friendly initiatives. Here is a run down of some of the great programs they are offering. Plus check out my tips for an environmentally friendly Super Bowl party.

The NFL Environmental Program has developed a series of initiatives to minimize the impact of Super Bowl activities on the local and global environment. Environmental projects are developed in partnership with the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee and local, state and national organizations.

Here are some of the fantastic green initiatives from the Super Bowl XLVI Evironmental Program:

Recycling

Comprehensive solid waste management at major NFL event facilities. This project diverts waste from local landfills through recycling and reusing potential waste materials. Sites include Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center, and the hotels serving as team headquarters, NFL headquarters and the Motorola Super Bowl Media Center. In addition, Pepsi is providing recycling bins for the NFL Experience and the Lucas Oil Stadium.

It is fantastic to see recycling offered at such a high profile event. Not only are they recycling but they are going above and beyond by setting up initiatives to reuse potential waste products. I love seeing recycling in the mainstream. Not only does it reduce the environmental footprint for this particular large event, but also will open individuals eyes to the idea of recycling in general.

Prepared Food Recovery

Extra prepared food from Super Bowl XLVI events will be collected for donation in partnership with Second Helpings, an Indianapolis-based non profit community kitchen and food rescue agency. Food recovered through this effort will go to soup kitchens, shelters and other local organizations that provide meals to those in need.

Materials Donation

Decorative materials, building materials, office supplies and other reusable items will be recovered and donated to local nonprofit organizations. Some materials are appropriate for reuse while others will be used as fund raising auction items or remanufactured into new products.

Reusing is a key step in pursing a greener lifestyle. This is so fantastic to see from a large organization like the NFL. It can be “easier” to just throw away all these items post-game, but instead they will be repurposing and reusing these items. This is a lesson learned for households as well. There are tons of organizations out there that would benefit from your used goods. Step out into the community and search out organizations for your old items.

Sports Equipment and Book Donation Project

The Super Kids-Super Sharing Sports Equipment and Book Donation project was developed in partnership with the Indianapolis Colts, the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, Martin University and Greater Indianapolis public and private schools. Local students are bringing gently used or new books, sports equipment and school supplies to their schools. These items will be collected then donated to pre-selected local schools and organizations serving children in need.

This is another initiative that we can take home with us. Many schools are facing huge budget cuts and deficits and could benefit from donations of heavily used items such as books and school supplies. Most local schools will gladly accept these donations.

Climate Change Initiative

Steps being taken to reduce the overall greenhouse gas impact of Super Bowl activities and events include:

  • Use of renewable energy certificates to provide “green” power for major Super Bowl XLVI event venues including Lucas Oil Stadium, the Motorola Super Bowl Media Center, NFL Super Bowl headquarters, the NFL Experience and the AFC and NFC team hotels.
  • Use of carbon offset credits to address the transportation emissions created by Super Bowl team travel. These offsets will cover both air and ground travel for both Super Bowl teams.
  • Incorporation of solar power into the Rebuilding Together community project as part of the overall Near East Side Legacy Project. The renewable energy, solar power and travel offset projects are made possible through a partnership with Green Mountain Energy
  • The planting of several thousand trees in local neighborhoods in partnership with the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful as part of the overall “greening” of Super Bowl XLVI.

*Source NFL.com

These are fantastic steps being taken by the NFL  and the Super Bowl XLVI Environmental Program. But what can you do at home to ensure your Super Bowl party is equally as environmentally friendly?

  • Skip the paper invites. Instead use online invitation services like evite, paperlesspost, or sendomatic.
  • Reduce your Waste- Ditch the paper plates and plastic utensils. Instead use your regular flatware and silverware.
  • Make your own food- Instead of using pre-packaged, preservative, and “unknown” filled foods, opt for some homemade salsa and tortilla chips like this recipe from The Food Network. Try picking organic or natural products when possible. Your guest are sure to rave about your awesome hosting skills.
  • Choose an eco-friendly beer. Check out the top 10 best eco-friendly brews here.
  • Reuse- make your party decorations from items around your house. Fabric, construction paper, old cards, and wrapping papers in your favorite teams colors can be perfect decor items. Check out the cute (and super easy to make) idea the Mommy in the Mountains made last year. Could easily be done in any colors from old fabric or papers.

Will you be hosting a Super Bowl party this year?