Green tips for fall tailgating

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-303 For Immediate Release: Sept. 4, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. -- Another season of high school, college and national football is under way, which means it's time for tailgating.  The Missouri Department of Natural Resources would like to provide some tips for eco-friendly tailgating.

As fall begins, so does football season at high schools, colleges and pro stadiums around Missouri.  Tailgating is part of the tradition, but it can be done in an eco friendly and economically friendly fashion.  

Fans are encouraged to think green before the game starts.  When shopping for the pre-game, plan a visit to the local farmer's market for buns or bread and fresh produce from your community.  Shopping locally ensures the items didn't travel across the country to your plate, using up valuable energy in transport.  Purchase condiments in bulk rather than single serving sizes to reduce packaging waste, and remember to bring a reusable bag to carry your groceries home.

Carpooling to the game is a great way to cut down on gas usage and spend time with friends and family.  If fans live close to the stadium, tailgate in the yard and walk to the game.  To avoid using fossil fuels for warming up the car in cold weather or listening to the radio, dress appropriately for the season and look into solar or crank powered radios that do not require electricity or batteries.

Once at the stadium, grilling usually begins.  Grilling in a parking lot doesn't have to be different from grilling in the backyard.  As with a regular grill, propane is the cleanest burning option. However, if charcoal is preferred, try to use a chimney starter rather than lighter fluid to reduce chemicals released into the air. 

Don't forget reusable plates, cups and silverware for the party.  Durable plastic plates and cups last a long time and don't break easily.  Plates from a second hand store are another inexpensive alternative.  If reusable dishes aren't an option, opt for products made of recycled materials or that can be composted post-game.  Once the game has started, look for recycling bins around the stadium to recycle your plastic bottles, and aluminum cans.  If no bins are provided, contact the stadium and ask they be provided in the future.  Provide a bag or box to tailgaters near your vehicle to recycle whatever items are accepted in that community.

For more information about green tips and how to find recycling facilities in your area, visit the Web at http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/rrr/rrr.htm or http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/swmd/swmdinfo.htm.

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