Green Bay = Green Super Bowl? (Or “It’s YOUR Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To”)

See entire February 2, 2011 newsletter

Okay, so I admit it’s a stretch but you can’t blame me for trying. The real question is: How green will your Super Bowl party be? I know what the big dogs are doing (read below) but I could shed a few tears when I think about the collective waste from the millions of smaller parties planned for Super Bowl XLV.

A few facts about the big party in Dallas: 

· The event will require about the same amount of energy it would take to power 1,500 homes for a year.

· Through the use of renewable energy certificates (RECs) and the efforts of Just Energy, the National Football League (NFL) and the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee all carbon emissions from power usage at major Super Bowl XLV venues will be offset. (Does this REALLY help?)

· 2011 Super Bowl is being billed as the greenest on record.

· Tree planting events, dubbed the “Super Grow XLV” at local schools, parks and playgrounds will rely on efforts coordinated by the Texas Trees Foundation and Texas Forest Service, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.

· Biofuels will power buses in the transportation fleet and generators on the field when possible.

· Recycling will be encouraged at Cowboys Stadium, the stadium compound, media center and Super Bowl headquarters.

· Prepared food that is not consumed at Super Bowl events will be donated to local food banks, shelters and community kitchens.

· Leftover decorations, office supplies and equipment will be donated and, if possible, upcycled into new products with the help of the Salvation Army. 

Collectively, it is good news. We are making progress. 

But it begs the question: how many of the millions of other Super Bowl parties being planned through-out the world are even thinking “green” with the exception of Green Bay Packer fans? I am sure I don’t want to know the answer to that. All I can do is ask that those of you who read this do your best to make your party as green as possible. Here are my suggestions:

· Use real plates, cups, knives, forks and glasses (renting them might be less expensive than you think and less work.)

· Shop at locally owned stores for everything you possibly can – especially if you are ordering take-out.

· Serve pitchers of water with slices of lemon vs. putting out water bottles.

· Think healthy, flavorful treats like homemade salsa, fresh veggies, “healthy” pizza, dark chocolate treats, fruit and fun green salads, baked chips.

· Minimize decorations that you will just dump into the trash and ultimately into the landfills once the party is over. Get creative and use things you already have or visit places like Goodwill to find your team’s colors!

· Have recycling bins VISIBLE for beer bottles, wine bottles, beer and soda cans. Recycle everything you possibly can – even if it means putting on the good old rubber gloves and going through the trash. 

Two final foods for thoughts: Isn’t Mother Earth worth the effort? And do you really want to make Mrs. Green cry?