This Sunday, families and friends will gather around living rooms across the country to watch one of America’s most important national events, the Super Bowl LIII. After the crowd is gone and planning their fantasy league for the next year in the comfort of their home, the stands are left with empty nacho dishes and plastic cups everywhere. In the past, this event has created an enormous amount of waste, about 40 tons of it.
In an effort to help improve the sustainability of the communities in which each Super Bowl is hosted, the National Football League (NFL) works to help decrease the caused by the Super Bowl and within the community in general while also improving the environment. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium located in Atlanta, where the Super Bowl will be held in, is the first sports stadium in the world that has achieved a LEED Platinum designation which indicates that it is built to be energy and resource-efficient. Food waste left after the event is over will be collected and distributed to Second Helpings Atlanta, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and Goodr. The NFL also joined forces with Verizon and Zoo Atlanta to hold a major recycling rally for used electronics.
This is all a big step towards more eco-friendly football, but what about those of us that couldn’t score the (on-average) $5,000 ticket? Here are some tips to have your own eco-friendly Super Bowl party this year.
First and foremost, you’ve heard the saying “Out of sight, out of mind.” This goes for recycling too. Make sure to have your recycling bins easy to get to and preferably labeled. That way it’s just as easy to recycle as it is to dump it in the trash. And you can think abut all the good you’re doing the world the whole way through the game.
Feel free to grab a cold one (if you’re over 21). In Dalton and Whitfield County, it’s easy to recycle your bottles from any of your parties. Just rinse them out and leave the label on and bring them in. If any of your bottles are clear, brown, or green they are good to go!
While we love to see more people recycling, it is important that the right stuff ends up in your bin. Packaging cardboard is great, but pizza box cardboard with food waste and grease? Not so much. Feel free to throw your container boxes, empty cans, and bottles in to the recycling bin, but please make sure it is clean.
If you’ve got your clean carboard box and are ready to dump it, make sure to break it down first! That way you have more space in the bin for even more recycling to be done throughout the game.
We also know that you are going to have to stock up on food to feed your own team. Instead of putting your plastic bags at the recycling center, please, look at your local grocery store to determine if they have a plastic bag pick-up.
With all of that food, you are going to be using plenty of dishes. It can decrease your waste amount a lot to use reusable items instead of single-use plates and cups. It may seem like more of a chore, but not only does it cut down on waste, it cuts your spending as well. Even if you do have to buy more plates you can continue to use them for your parties throughout the year. You may even be able to get out of having to do the dishes by betting the chore on the Patriots’ or Rams’ win.
When the party is said and done, have some reusable containers ready to go to send people home with leftovers or to box it up for yourself. Bonus points if you put food scraps in your compost pile!
If you are cleaning up the aftermath from your party and are unsure about recycling any items you can easily check dwswa.org for an easy to use recycling guide for all four convenience centers. May the best team win.