With the entire football nation still upside down and giddy like schoolgirls after Tim Tebow lead the Denver Broncos to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers this past weekend in the NFL Wildcard playoff game, it’s easy to see why professional football is America’s most popular sport, and by a country mile.
Watching the magnificent spectacle unfold on TV, it’s hard to miss the significant environmental impact of a professional football game. Those glorious overhead blimp shots of the stadium also show the oceans of automobiles used to get all of those people to the game, for starters. It’s a palpable strain on any host city’s infrastructure; one that Los Angeles will feel firsthand with the planned Farmer’s Field in downtown, to be home to an NFL team to be named later. (To offset that impact, developers AEG are making a multitude of moves to make it the “greenest” stadium in the country).
The NFL has been very aggressive in countering their carbon footprint, especially when it comes to the big game, the Super Bowl, which happens on February 7th in Indianapolis, IN this year. With the mission that Super Bowl XLVI be the greenest event in the game’s history, the NFL has established “1st & Green”. It’s an inclusive program that challenges football fans to conserve water and carbon in everyday life, and log progress online. The impressive results are racked up on the site’s tracker.
The NFL is also partnering with a host of local Indianapolis programs for extensive recycling throughout the city, with an army of volunteers collecting and sorting recyclable materials. Charity Second Helpings has been tapped to repurpose excess food from various NFL events end up in local shelters and daycare centers.