The Grass is Always Greener at the Superbowl

Everything about Super Bowl is big and that includes its commitment to the environment.

Forget about the Patriots and the Rams. Forget about Britney Spears and Mariah Carey. Forget about the multimillion dollar commercials. The big news at the Superbowl this year is ... green.

In New Orleans this year, the National Football League has incorporated a series of environmental initiatives that affect nearly every Super Bowl-related event:

  • Solid waste recycling will be a key component of waste management at the Louisiana Superdome, the New Orleans Arena, and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - three facilities that host most of the NFL-sponsored events. Even in facilities that don't normally recycle waste material, the NFL worked with facility managers to integrate recycling into their existing operations.
  • The NFL also sponsors a sports equipment recycling project. In partnership with local schools, used and new sports equipment was collected during the month of January. That equipment has been donated to the local Youth Education Town Center, an NFL-sponsored facility that provides youngsters with academic and recreational programs.
  • Another NFL project, materials donation, matches the needs of local nonprofits with all types of leftover materials or equipment including decorative materials and building materials.
  • Even extra food from Super Bowl events doesn't go to waste. The NFL works closely with the local Second Harvest Food Bank to help them collect and distribute food after each event.
  • A "Litter Free" campaign, tested by the NFL five years ago when Super Bowl was last in New Orleans, will be run again at the NFL Experience Football Theme Park. Volunteers reward kids and adults with NFL temporary tattoos for keeping the area clean.

The National Football League has incorporated environmental concerns into the management of Super Bowl for the past 10 years, beginning with Super Bowl XXVII, played in Pasadena in January 1993. Since that time, the NFL's Environmental Program has expanded greatly from its initial efforts at solid waste recycling. The program has now developed into a comprehensive campaign to reduce all types of waste and to effectively manage resources by combining good environmental practices with sound business decisions.

Supporters and participants include the New Orleans Super Bowl XXXVI Host Committee, the Audubon Institute, International Paper Co., the Louisiana Superdome, the Ernest C. Morial Convention Center, the New Orleans Arena, Volume Services of America, the New Orleans Saints, River Parish Disposal, Vista Fibers, the city of New Orleans, the Second Harvest Food Bank, Party Planners West and the New Orleans NFL YET Center.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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