NEW ORLEANS, LA. Sustainability and the Super Bowl are not traditionally synonymous, but while thousands of fans descend on our fun and fair city, they can now take advantage of the greener side of New Orleans.
In fact, this is argued to be the “greenest Super Bowl yet” according to the New Orleans Environmental Host Committee whose dedicated volunteers organized a series of sustainability initiatives throughout the year in partnership with local organizations. From a Carbon Offsets program with Entergy, to collecting excess prepared food for people in need and repurposing material from Super Bowl’s past, Super Bowl XLVII is setting a precedent for events to come. Read more.
Here are the Top 5 ways you can green your Super Bowl and Mardi Gras:
RECYCLE YOUR CUPS AND BEADS
You can throw your beads back to the floats in some parades in Jefferson Parish, but don’t forget to recycle those unnecessary beads at various ARC of Greater New Orleans locations around town (Dirty Coast, Mardi Gras World, Whole Foods). Temporary recycling for bottles and cans will also be set up all around the CBD and Superdome just for the event. And, in the months after Super Bowl, stay in tune as the city brings solar-compacting trash and recycle bins to New Orleans.
LifeCity Green Certified restaurants such as Café Carmo and City Greens, located in the Central Business Distric (CBD) are delicious, green options that support our local community and natural resources. Not only do they employ sustainable business practices, they also offer a healthy alternative to the typical Super Bowl fare.
TRAVEL GREEN, TRAVEL SMART
The city is going to be jam packed in the days leading up to Super Bowl, and inevitably, this means traffic jams. Instead of sitting in traffic for hours opt for a greener way to travel, such as walking or biking. Better yet, take advantage of New Orleans pedi-cabs as they pedal-power you around town in comfort. Give Bike Taxi Unlimited a call for friendly and fast service (504-891-3441). Or take advantage of the new Loyola Street Car line that has five state-of-the-art solar-powered shelters thanks to Joule Energy.
STAY LOCAL, BUT BEYOND THE FRENCH QUARTER
Although we all appreciate a good joke t-shirt or a plastic bead, try to stay away from all the China-imported plastic and instead visit a local market or store for some really one of a kind finds made by local artists. Throughout the weekend stop by the Frenchmen Street Market any night or visit REpurposingNOLA and the Green Light District who will have you leaving the city in style.
SUPPORT GREEN LODGING
If you are staying in a hotel, many offer a green program to reuse towels and recycle. But don’t forget that nice, home-time experience you can get by renting out a room in the French Quarter or staying at a local Bed and Breakfast. The Canal Street Inn is a green-minded bed and breakfast that has the luxury of any 5-star-experience. Other non-traditional means like couchsurfer.com and craigslist might also meet your needs.
While progress is being made in New Orleans, Chief Sustainability Officer of LifeCity points out the missing gaps in our sustainable economy: “Over the next few weeks, we will see millions of recyclable bottles, beads, and cans thrown into the garbage, instead of leveraging jobs in growing sustainability industries. Let us not miss another opportunity to show the Nation that we aren’t living in the past; we have a green thumb down south and are using our environmental challenges as economic opportunities for not only our local people, but our natural resources, and not only for today, but for the next 100 years – so you can keep coming back!”