As the football season gears up, so does the excitement for tailgating – a cherished American tradition that brings friends, family, and fellow fans together to celebrate the sport. While tailgating is all about good food, great company, and team spirit, it's important to remember our responsibility towards the environment. With a few conscious choices and creative adjustments, you can host an eco-friendly tailgate party that celebrates your favorite team without sacrificing the health and safety of our planet.
Rethink Gameday Transportation
One of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions during tailgating events is transportation. Consider carpooling or using public transportation to arrive at the stadium. Better yet, opt for biking or walking if you're close enough. This not only reduces emissions but also minimizes traffic congestion around the venue.
Choose Sustainable Supplies
Ditch the Plastic and Styrofoam disposable plates and cups in favor of reusable or compostable ones. Invest in durable, eco-friendly tableware made from materials like bamboo, stainless steel, or compostable materials. When putting together your tailgating supply checklist, be sure to include compostable catering trays, PLA cold cups, sustainable cutlery, and compostable hot cups. You could also encourage your fellow tailgaters to bring their reusable items too.
Mindful Menu Planning
When planning your tailgate menu, opt for locally sourced, organic, and seasonal ingredients. This supports local farmers while reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting food over long distances. Incorporating more plant-based options helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserves and improves water quality, and decreases pollutants leaching into water and soil.
Implement a robust waste reduction system at your tailgate. Set up clearly labeled recycling and compost bins alongside trash bins. Encourage guests to separate their waste properly, making it easier to recycle and compost. Donate any excess edible food to local food banks to minimize food waste.
If you're using grills, coolers, or other electronic equipment, opt for energy-efficient models. Portable solar chargers are a great option for keeping devices charged without relying on fossil fuels. Turn off equipment when not in use to conserve energy.
Tailgate setups are often adorned with decorations, banners, and team gear. Instead of using disposable decorations, opt for reusable banners, flags, and signs that can be used season after season.
Plastic bottles are a major environmental concern, as they often end up in landfills and polluting bodies of water, negatively affecting the ecosystem and causing a threat to the survival of many species. Set up hydration stations with large water dispensers and encourage guests to bring their own reusable water bottles. You can also offer infused water options with fruits and herbs for a refreshing twist to beat the heat!
Leave No Trace
Before heading into the game, make sure to leave the area as clean as you found it. Pack up all your items, properly dispose of waste, and if possible, take the opportunity to pick up any litter around you. Leave no trace of your celebration—the Earth will thank you!
Tailgate Environmentally & Responsibly
This football season, let's unite our love for the game with our commitment to a healthier planet. By making simple yet impactful choices, you can create an eco-friendly tailgate that everyone will enjoy.