Super Bowl

Creating A 'Net-Positive' Super Bowl

The countdown to Super Bowl 50 is officially on with less than two weeks to go until the big game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. Many will not have the privilege of attending the big event and will be throwing parties at usual. Either way I am here to help you to a green sustainable Super Bowl 50.
Large events such as the Super Bowl bring in a lot of money and visitors to the city of the event, which this year is San Francisco. The host city gains an economic boost with the swaths of people and countless parties that are to be had. But with all of the festivities there are a lot of inevitable consequences that tag along. The one item that will be top of mind is car and airplane emissions from those traveling into the bay area. Fans will be commuting from the Denver area and as far east as the Carolina's.  Then from there it is a long laundry list of items such as: waste, water, energy and food. All of these items play a significant role in the communities in which the game is being played in.  
With this year's Super Bowl being the 50th the host committee is aiming to make this year's game stand out for more than what is happening on the field. The committee is framing this year's game around the phrase, 'net-positive'. For the many that may not know what that phrase means the committee has taken steps to define what it is for the purpose of the game. People attending the game or watching from home are being asked to contribute in which ever categories they can in what the committee has coined, Play Your Part
Play your part has four main pillars it stands upon. 
  1. Reducing impact on climate change (lower emissions)
    • Use mass transit
    • Ride your bike
  2. Using and recycling of items properly
    • Use reusable bags and water bottles #BringYourOwn
  3. Have fans personally embrace sustainability
    • Fans to use the Play Your Part Program
  4. Leaving the Bay Area better than before
    • Donating to environmentally focused Bay Area non-profits
To participate in the Play Your Part campaign you do not have to be attending the big game, but you do have to be from the State of California. The hopes of this campaign is to bring the environmental issues of large events to top of mind of attendees and followers. If you would like to participate and make this years game 'net-positive' log on and let the committee know how you are going to make a difference. Once you are done you learn that you are now rewarded 50 good coins. With those 50 coins you can make a donation to one of the four non-profits that were selected by the committee. But you must hurry! You only have until before the game begins to participate. 
So those that are not able to be in the vibrant city for the game we haven't forgotten about you. The four pillars that are laid out can still be acted upon while throwing a Super Bowl party at your place. We built a 'net-positive' list for your celebration at your home.
1. Reducing impact on climate change
For those of you who will be enjoying the game from the comforts of your home or a friends home there is still room to cut down on emissions. Try carpooling with friends that are going the same way or to the same celebration. Or if you are close enough to the party you can even just bike there. 
2. Using and recycling of items properly
At many of the Super Bowl parties that I have attended in the past there have been paper plates and red cups galore. This year try to steer clear of those items even though they make for an easier clean up. Try out reusable stainless steel or glass containers to bring over your items if its a potluck type of event. Then for plates try out bamboo items from  Bamboo Studio's and for cups go for glass if you can. And if you are one of those that ops for water try bringing your own reusable water bottle. (ppsstt...if you do and snap a picture make sure you use the hashtag #BringYourOwn)
Then once cleanup begins remember you have separate bins for a reason. Make sure you recycle those items that can be recycled. If you are unsure what items your city recycles check out this website,, that will let you know what items are ok or not. 
3. Have fans personally embrace sustainability

The Green Teams Part III

See? It's just so pretty!
Photo Source:
I was in San Francisco for Super Bowl XLVII; it was devastating. I’ve never seen the city so depressed. There’s hope for 49ers fans, though, as well as a new, shiny stadium. Santa Clara is their new home and, boy is it beautiful. It’s crazy efficient, too! There is a 20,000 square foot green roof… I know, SO cool. The stadium is using reclaimed water for drinkable and irrigation purposes and has incorporated recycled materials into the design. The stadium is also partnering with local vendors to create farm-to-table options for ticket holders. How awesome is that? And in addition to these already ground-breaking inclusions, a local company called SunPower is partnering with the new Levi’s Stadium to supply enough solar panels to produce sufficient electricity to compensate for all the power used for home games each year. True story.

I think (I hope!) the publicity of this installment as well as the one at the Pocono Raceway will help convince solar-naysayers that this great country we live in CAN produce ample amounts of renewable energy and maybe we should start viewing it as a reliable and clean supplier of grid power. I understand there’s a high initial cost, but there are loan and third party programs out there, among others. If solar can be implemented and rewards can be reaped on such a huge scale AND in a setting we all enjoy and support daily as a united community, we should be able to incorporate it on a smaller scale, too, without so much backlash, don’t ya think?

Speaking of renewable energy on a large scale, Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, installed solar way back in 2007 (the stadium was one of the first in the US to do so). The Indians have really been getting after energy savings through green initiatives. The stadium was also the first in the MLB to install a wind turbine. Installed last year, the turbine incorporates LED lights and kiosks for fans to learn about wind energy. See Mom, sporting events can be educational, too! Furthermore, staff attends an annual class about the stadium’s newest green practices, encouraging them to implement their knowledge at home and in their communities. Start on a small scale and cause a chain reaction… I’ve always believed this is the way to get people on board to save the environment!

The Indians also have some great ideas for future projects, which include following in the footsteps of the 49ers and building a green roof. I know I’ll probably be judged and condemned for saying this, but even though popcorn and hotdogs are the staple snack at baseball games, I am a sucker for fruit right off the tree and veggies right out of the ground. I would be more than happy to pay $20 for that and be able to pick it myself IN THE STADIUM than pay that kind of money for some processed meat and watery beer (sorry Keystone and Miller Light lovers! I’m really just not into it. The commercial above is more up my alley.).  Want to read more about the Indians and their energy-saving super powers? See pages 69-72.

NHL fans, I have not forgotten about you! Plus, even the NCAA is implementing sustainability programs. The big leagues aren’t the only ones who get to have all the fun! Stay tuned, loyal followers. More energy efficiency in sports to come!