Are you ready for the Super Bowl? Even if you’re not a fan of either team vying for the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy (or the NFL in general), efforts being made to minimize this international event’s massive environmental footprint might be of interest.
With the goal of improving upon the success of past Super Bowl greening initiatives, the 2013 New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee Environmental Program aims to integrate environmental ethics into all of the week’s activities leading up to the big game on February 3rd.
These various initiatives are arguably the most important aspect of the event, but you won’t hear them discussed nearly as much as player tweets leading up to the game, or the fact that the teams are coached by brothers, or, sigh, the commercials. So, in an effort to raise awareness about the impact of this week-long football extravaganza, here are five reasons Super Bowl XLVII will be the greenest yet.
1. No Wasted Food
Second Harvest Food Bank is prepared to collect excess prepared foods from nearly 50 Super Bowl events that will be hosted throughout the Greater New Orleans area during the week leading up to the big event. Food recovered through these efforts will be delivered to Second Harvest Food Bank member agencies, such as soup kitchens and shelters that provide meals to people in need.
2. All Carbon Emissions Offset
Local utility Entergy Corp. has agreed to purchase credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions from Super Bowl-related activities. Those activities include travel to and from the Super Bowl by the players, coaches, cheerleaders and other support staff from the two teams. The credits will neutralize or offset the 4,500 megawatts of power needed to operate Super Bowl venues including the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and team hotels, resulting in some 3.8 million pounds of CO2. Offset projects include a landfill gas collection project in Denton, Texas, a forest conservation initiative in the heart of California’s redwood region and the methane-capture project in Michigan. All three projects have been certified to deliver the promised greenhouse gas reductions by the Climate Action Reserve.
3. Trees for NoLa
Hike for KaTREEna partnered with the NFL and the New Orleans Super Bowl Environmental Committee to plant 7,000 trees in time for Super Bowl XLVII. The organization hosted Big TREEsy Giveaways at Joe Brown Park in New Orleans on January 5, 2013 and January 12, 2013, at Lafreniere Park in Metairie. They will also be helping with Super Saturday of Service on February 2, 2013, by planning trees at five NORDC playgrounds around the city of New Orleans.
4. No Banner Left Behind
REpurposingNOLA is a New Orleans-based, female-owned triple bottom line company utilizing excess fabrics from the community to create sustainable designer goods. After next month’s big game, the company will transform the huge banners used to decorate the stadium into stylish upcycled clothing and decorative items, including a bag called the “2013 ECO-SPORT”.
5. CFLs for All
For Super Bowl XLVII, local organization Green Light New Orleans will expand its Tip the Block program. During the week-long event, Super Bowl volunteers will help install 80,000 free energy efficient CFL light bulbs in the homes of New Orleans residents. They will also help build backyard vegetable gardens and clear and mark storm drains as part of the initiative.
Image via Mercedes-Benz Superdome