Center for American Progress

It’s Easy Being Green: Getting Ready for Some Football
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It’s Easy Being Green: Getting Ready for Some Football

Five suggestions for enjoying the football season without putting more pressure on the planet.

San Diego Chargers fan Frank Cusick turns the chicken on his grill as he and friends enjoy the summer-like weather while tailgating prior to an NFL football game between the Chargers and the Washington Redskins in San Diego.
  (AP/Chris Park)
San Diego Chargers fan Frank Cusick turns the chicken on his grill as he and friends enjoy the summer-like weather while tailgating prior to an NFL football game between the Chargers and the Washington Redskins in San Diego.   (AP/Chris Park)

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The football season is upon us. Tomorrow night’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints will kick off the National Football League’s 2010-11 regular season, and fans across America can’t wait to cheer on their teams.

While you’re enjoying the upcoming season here are five things you can do to stay loyal to your team and your planet:

1. Have a more eco-friendly tailgate party. When preparing your food make sure you use a propane, gas, or electric grill. These grills burn more efficiently than regular charcoal grills. Also, cut back on the outdoor heaters when it’s cold outside. They may warm you up a little bit, but they’re not very energy efficient.

2. Grill better food. Most football fans love hot dogs and hamburgers, but why not grill some fish, seafood, or even produce? This 2009 article from Rodale.com explains how seafood grilling is greener and results in smaller waistlines for those around the grill.

3. Use public transportation to get to the game. If you’re not hosting a tailgate party and live relatively close to the stadium you don’t need to drive to the game. Choose public transit instead. It may not be as nice as your own car, truck, or SUV, but riding public transit reduces emissions. Plus, you won’t have to deal with your road rage flaring up in the hectic game-day traffic. It’s a win-win situation.

4. Don’t use paper plates. Paper plates can’t be recycled when they’re contaminated with food residue, so even though you may not feel like washing any dishes it’s more environmentally friendly to use (and reuse) what’s already sitting in your cabinet.

5. Recycle. When all is said and done, chances are you’ll have a fair number of soda cans, beer cans, and Solo cups sitting around after the game. So make sure to recycle them! This is probably the easiest step, but it’s also one of the most important.

There are many more ways to go green as a football fan, but following these five tips will definitely get the ball rolling in the right direction.

Read more articles from the "It’s Easy Being Green" series

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