Game day is here once again, Gator fans, so rise and shine to watch the boys of old florida do WORK in the Swamp.
But while you’re enjoying the day’s festivities, why not take a hint from Albert and be a little greener?
Whether you’re grilling and chilling in the comfort of your house or on campus, here are a few tips to ensure your game day is a little more eco-conscious.
First of all, the simplest way to make a difference is to bring the same Earth friendly habits you have at home to your tailgate. The number one way to do this is to reduce the amount of waste you create. Use reusable dishes, cups and silverware instead of paper or plastic. They can be purchased cheaply at thrift stores, or you can pool your resources with your friends and use what you have.
But if you must go disposable instead of reusable, recycle or compost everything you can. An easy way to encourage your guests to do the same is to have a clearly marked spot for recyclables and compostables. Do you want to do more? Consider volunteering for the Tailgator Recycling Team and helping to keep the Swamp clean and green.
Time to fire up your grill. What to use, propane or charcoal? Propane may be a fossil fuel, but it burns cleaner, which means it releases less airborne pollutants into the atmosphere. Charcoal is much dirtier, not to mention more cumbersome and unwieldy. However, you can choose a better charcoal, one made of renewable, plant-based waste products like these coconut shell charcoal briquettes. Skipping the chemical-laden lighter fluid and using a charcoal chimney made of newspaper gets you even more bonus points. This handy tutorial explains the technique quite nicely.
Now comes the fun part – food! Switching out your hot dogs and burgers for veggies is the easiest way to make your tailgate green. Vegetables taste awesome grilled, so even if you aren’t serving them as the main course, it doesn’t mean your tailgate has to be strictly carnivorous. Sourcing your munchies as locally as possible is another simple way to reduce your impact. Beverage wise, Gainesville has plenty of awesome local or organic brews just waiting to fill your coolers.
As for the entertainment, remember to not leave your car running if you’re using the radio. Or, you can skip the fossil fuels all together and try something cooler, like this solar-powered wireless speaker system.
Next is a tip that seasoned greenies are used to hearing, carpool! Walk, bike, bus or dance to the stadium, whatever works for you. Reduce your fossil fuel use and spend a little more time in nature in the process. And if you must bust out your hot rod, try not to ride solo. Plus, parking on game day is miserable anyway.
Once you get to the stadium, remember that they recently added compost bins in addition to the recycling bins. You can now toss your empty popcorn box, hot dog wrapper and straws in the compost bins. Check the complete list of acceptable compost items out here. In the recycle bins, toss your plastic bottles, cups and spoons.
You made it! Now sit back, enjoy the game and go (green) Gators!