Even the Super Bowl has gone GreenPosted: February 2, 2014
Since everyone is focused on the Super Bowl today as I write this, I thought I would ask – Do you ever stop to think about the “big mess” left behind after the Super Bowl ? Actually, I can tell you that today, I actually do appreciate all of the efforts that The National Football League (NFL) is putting forth, along with the MetLife Stadium, to “go green” with this 2014 Super Bowl. Actually, the National Football League (NFL) has sought to gradually reduce the footprint left behind by the Superbowl, since the early 90′s; and this year they are planning to make it the most environmentally friendly Super Bowl event to date.
“We try and stay ahead of the curve,” said Jack Groh, a consultant who directs the NFL’s environmental programs. “We try and push the envelope every year.” In the weeks leading up to this year’s Super Bowl, the NFL sponsored e-waste recycling events in New York and New Jersey that collected 9,000 pounds of old phones, computers and other gadgets, according to Verizon Inc., which partnered in the program. The NFL sponsored the planting of tens of thousands trees in the metropolitan area to offset carbon emissions related to the Super Bowl game (makes my tree hugging, forest dwelling self smile !!). And after the game, the league will donate several miles of fabric signage to nonprofits or other groups for re-purposing. In New Orleans, Groh said, local designers took the fabric and used it to make purses, dresses, shower curtains, beanbag chairs, tote bags and wallets. “Our primary objective is to see that it doesn’t go to a landfill,” he said.
“The NFL is doing a better job reducing greenhouse gases and offsetting carbon than the state of New Jersey is,” said Jeff Tittel, President of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club and a consistent critic of Gov. Chris Christie’s environmental policies. “That’s the irony, they understand climate change better than our governor does.”
The stadium selected, MetLife, is the first stadium in the world to meet the rigorous standards of the Green Restaurant Association, although it only got a score of 2 out of 4. Because our business IS recycling, I am especially happy to learn that staff at the stadium pledge to recycle plastic, glass, aluminum and paper during and after the big game.
But that isn’t “all”. From composting food waste (we do that too but this will be a “first” for a Super Bowl event) to using biodiesel (processed from waste cooking oil) to power generators, MetLife Stadium is leading by example. Infrequently, storms knock the power out in our wildly remote home’s location, so we have a gasoline powered generator here too, in order to stay in touch with our business’ needs, until the power can be more conventionally restored. We have not considered the possibility of an alternative fuel for that purpose so far. This is definitely out on the leading edge.
A biodiesel mix will be used in generators that will power Super Bowl Boulevard, the 13-block party on Broadway that will feature entertainment and a giant toboggan slide, as well as generators that are augmenting the power supply on the MetLife Stadium grounds. The head of Public Service Electric & Gas, the utility that provides power to the complex, has estimated that it will take about 18 megawatts of electricity to power the entire complex for the game, or what would be needed to power 12,000 homes. Of that, PSE&G president Ralph LaRossa said as much as 1/3 or six megawatts could be provided by the generators.
Whether you are rooting for the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks (or really could care less, as I will admit is true for my own self) – you can definitely applaud, that even the traditional football face-off of mid-Winter, is thinking about the color of Spring. That old codger, Punxsutawney Phil, says 6 more weeks of winter. His predictions remain controversial but that the winter trends towards the more severe in much of the United States this winter, is a known reality to the many experiencing it first-hand. Heating Fuel prices are through the roof, thanks in part to the export of supplies (due to higher prices accepted elsewhere) that could have taken a bite out of the cost of off-setting winter’s cold, for many people in our own country.
Information resources –
“Superbowl 2014- Coldest and Greenest One Yet?” by Denielle D’Ambrosio posted in “GreenWizard” on January 27, 2014 – http://blog.greenwizard.com/wp/2014/01/superbowl-2014-coldest-and-greenest-one-yet/
Super Bowl will be coldest, could also be greenest” by David Porter posted at HuffPost Business, on January 27, 2014 – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20140127/fbn-super-bowl-2014-green-initiatives/
Blog author ~ Deborah Hart Yemm is co-founder of
Yemm & Hart, a green materials producer