Sustainable Saturday - 5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Tailgating!

I honestly can't believe it's that time of the year when it's time to think about football. As I listened to the band play last evening at our local high school football game, I had the realization that fall is on its way.

So you're headed to the game next weekend and you want to improve your overall experience by reducing the amount of trash associated with tailgating. As you can tell I bleed scarlet and gray (Ohio State) for those of you non-football fans. At Ohio State I've heard that the grounds staff spends something like an entire day cleaning up after a home football game due to the amount of trash. Now I agree that this is ridiculous in itself and people in general should take responsibility for their mess, what if everyone had incentive to take their trash home by placing it in their compost pile or getting perks for recycling.

In the past I've done posts on the benefits of both. You can read about Composting Basics and the RecycleBank program here, here and here.

5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Tailgating!

1.  Purchase compostable, biodegradable and sustainable paper products like ultra green, Earth Shell or Solo Bare.  I would like to point out that if you do purchase something that is biodegradable only or plan on placing one of the products listed above into a trash bag headed for the landfill, it will not biodegrade.  Nothing biodegrades a 100% in a landfill that is not a composting landfill.  If you place these products in a separate container or bag to be placed in your compost pile these products will easily break down, usually within a week in my experience, and you will benefit from rich compost for your garden and yard.

2.  Tasty Beverages are usually an essential part of any tailgating experience.  Whether you are talking about some Horizon Organic Chocolate Milk Boxes or some local brews.  One of our favorite companies is Great Lakes Brewing Company.  Great Lakes Brewing Company is a principle-centered, environmentally respectful and socially conscious company committed to crafting fresh, flavorful, high-quality beer and food for the enjoyment of their customers.  Located in on the West Side in Cleveland, OH, they distribute to 13 states in the U.S.

Great Lakes Brewing Company on Sustainability:

Great Lakes Brewing Company is an environmentally and socially conscious brewer of award-winning, all natural beer. The care that goes into the beer resonates from a commitment to the community and environment, otherwise known as the "Triple Bottom Line" - to engage in economic, social and environmental practices that achieve a sustainable, yet profitable, business.
We believe the Triple Bottom Line is going to become increasingly important as people focus more on responsible purchasing. This commitment to sustainability is present in almost every aspect of our business including:
  • Reducing, reusing and recycling
  • Changing natural resource use from "Take, Make, Waste" to "Take, Make, Remake"
  • Implementing efficient energy practices
  • Investing in the community through non-profit organizations
  • Supporting sustainable urban renewal projects
You can read about their Pint Size Farm and even more Sustainable Initiatives here.

3. Meat is another essential for tailgating.  Look for either a Local Farmer's Market or Farm to purchase your meat to get a better quality product and lessen the impact on the environment.  We purchase meat from a farm in Ashtabula County.  You can also look for products like Laura's Lean Ground Beef at your local grocery store for a more environmentally friendly option.  

4.  Supplement some of your tailgate fair by going meatless.  A great way to do this is with beans (black, pinto, kidney) to make a variety of dishes like nachos, chili (a fan favorite), fajitas, etc.  I like to cook my beans ahead in a big pot and freeze them in quart freezer bags for easy use later on.  These are a great way to make a portion your tailgate fare meatless and so easy to grab a couple bags from the freezer and put them in the cooler. 

5. Purchase tailgate essentials from your local Farmer's Markets to get local and organic fresh produce, meats and even dairy products.  Not all items found at Farmer's Markets are Organic, however many people argue that Local and Fresh are just as important, if not more so than Organic

You can search for Local Farmer's Markets in your area at Local Harvest.

Read about The New Dirty Dozen:  12 Foods to Eat Organic

I suppose I've started a Series by accident.  You can read more about my Tips for Eco-Friendly living:

10 Tips to Buying Organic on a Budget
5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Back-to-School
Tips for a Eco-Friendly Vacation


tips4green said...

Hi There!! Following you from Green Follow Friday!! Wonderful blog! Have a wonderful day!


Symhome mom said...

Thanks! It's been great reading and connecting with all the other green bloggers out there! Have a good one, Amy