by Melanie Stewart
The weather is starting to cool, students are returning to class, which means a new season has started: Football Season! With that in mind LiveGreen offers these tips to green your tailgate:
- Buy in bulk. Buy larger quantities of the items you know you will need throughout the season. One family size bag of chips is less packaging than 2 small ones and a case of pop is less packaging than two 12-packs. This reduces waste and saves you trips to the store. Remember to take reusable bags whenever you shop.
- Buy reusable then recyclable. If reusable tableware isn’t an option, buy recyclable items made with recycled material. Strive for plastics labeled #1 & #2, as they are more easily recycled. Want extra credit? Check out these edible cups!
- Grill with propane. It has a lower level of emissions and fewer VOCs than charcoal. Consider yourself a grill master? Go for sustainably sourced natural brands of charcoal; fewer chemicals go into your food – better for you and for the planet.
- Buy locally grown produce and meat (or, dare I say, go meatless?) and buy buns from local bakeries.
- Reuse old team apparel you don’t wear anymore to make fun washable tablecloths or napkins.
- Shut off your engine. Bring a rechargeable battery device or a crank radio: you generate the power while burning a few calories, and it will even charge your cell phone. If you have the cash, check out these solar powered outlets to run your devices.
- Buy locally brewed beer or organic beer.
- Skip prepackaged foods. They cost more and have more packaging. Make the foods you love and then only make what you will eat.
- Clean up! No matter where you are, don’t litter. Recycle everything you can and pack an extra bag to bring recyclables home. Many places in Omaha offer Curbside Rewards for recycling, so it’s a win-win!
- Don’t have one. I’m not a killjoy, but driving out of town to tailgate at a game for which you don’t have tickets isn’t green. If you have tickets, carpool to the game, and use the park-n-ride locations, then do your tailgate better too (see below). Otherwise, invite some friends over to your house and watch the game, while eating with reusable tableware. You’ll save time, money, and the planet!