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Green tips for tailgating at the big game

With fall in the air, tailgating is a tradition that goes along with football. Even if your team colors aren’t green, you can take some easy steps to make sure your tailgating is.

  • Carpool! Whether you’re hosting the party or not, the best way to travel is with a car full of family and friends.
  • Pack smart to reduce packaging waste. Prepare your food ahead of time at home and pack your food in re-sealable and reusable containers. This will help keep flies and bees away from your food during the party and make sure your leftovers stay fresh after the game. Remember to compost those food scraps from prepping your meals.
  • Use propane. Not only is it more efficient and time-saving than charcoal , it is also less messy.
  • Serve drinks in bulk. Buy larger containers to avoid single-serve containers. If you need cups, be sure to bring reusable, durable cups that you can bring home, wash, and use for the next game.
  • Reduce utensils use. Plan your menu around foods that don’t need utensils for serving or eating. Think finger foods that you can just grab and eat. If you need utensils, bring durable ones you can wash and use next time.
  • Bring reusable plates and serving items. Once again, reusable is best! If you tailgate or host picnics, BBQs and parties often, it’s probably worth it to invest in a set of reusable outdoor dishes. Your local thrift store may have some good options at a great price. And don’t forget the napkins – cloth ones are a great environmental alternative to paper napkins, and they don’t blow away!
  • Go simple or get creative with decorations.  One idea is to let your food do the talking! Think about ways that you can plate your food that could double as decorative centerpieces. Your tablecloth could also add to the festive, low-waste feel. Buy one that you can use, wash, and use again, or make your own to support your team. One creative idea is to take old team t-shirts you no longer wear and sew them in to a one-of-a-kind tablecloth for your party.
  • Use the power of the sun. If you have small appliances or electronics to plug in, consider getting solar-powered, portable outlets.
  • Recycle! It’s most convenient if your tailgating area provides recycling opportunities (and if they don’t, ask for it!). Be sure to look at the guidelines so you know what they accept. If there is not recycling available, bring a container so you can bring your recyclables home. This extra step won’t be a lot of extra work.
  • Pick up after yourself. Nothing looks worse than a messy, litter filled parking lot. Bring extra garbage and recycling bags or containers to help your tailgating neighbors be earth friendly, too.