Green tailgating tips

Hey Coogs! There are only four UH football home games left this season. If you tailgate or work on a tailgating committee, you can take some easy steps to tailgate more responsibly and still have tons of fun. Greener and cleaner tailgates can also translate to helping your organization save money, save time from clean-up and more!

uh-football

With some inspiration from Green Mountain’s tailgating tips, my experiences organizing tailgates this year and feedback from other tailgaters, I’ve compiled a list to improve your tailgating experience:

Carpool! – It’s a win-win for everyone. Why compete with your friends to find a parking spot when you can save gas and time by sharing a ride? Not only does it result in less vehicle emissions but you get extra mingling time with your friends.

Use alternative transportation options – You should also consider alternative ways to get to the stadium that are available here at UH. Not only would you not have to worry about parking, but you can also get home safely after having several beers. If you have a smartphone, you can download some useful apps to make using these options even easier:

  • METRO T.R.I.P.T.R.I.P. stands for “Transit Route Information & Planning” and is the official app for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO). Get quick access to routes and schedule information, bus arrival times, and plan your trip to TDECU Stadium and back with this app. Full-time UH students who apply for a Q card on the UH Parking & Transportation website also get 50% off on METRO fares after they receive their card.
  • Hail a CabTM HoustonThis app makes it easy to locate cabs in real time through your location, hail the nearest cab, and schedule future pick-ups before the game is over.
  • Uber Uber offers taxi-like services with a heavy focus on their smartphone app. You can easily find an Uber driver, pay through your phone, rate drivers, easily split fares, and more.

Have a recycling bag or bin – Tailgates usually have lots of beer and soda cans that end up in the trash bin. Instead, you can collect the bottles and aluminum cans and drop them next to the closest recycling bin in front of TDECU Stadium. A volunteer can help monitor your area’s waste and remind everyone of the recycling bin or self-collect the recyclable waste that’s lying around.

You can even put a sticker or use a marker on your bag to say that your organization recycles. Not only are you diverting waste from landfills, but you’re also promoting your organization in a positive way.

Make grilling more eco-friendly – Choose from two eco-conscious options:

  1. Natural Gas – Natural gas grills are energy-efficient, have great no-tank convenience, a continuous fuel supply and an instant start-up. CenterPoint has useful information on their benefits.
  2. Organic or Natural Lump Coal – This type of coal produces less greenhouse gas emissions and burns just as good as conventional coal. When done with grilling, make sure to dispose of the ashes properly in the trash bin as ashes can be toxic to animals and plants.

Use sustainable dishware and flatware

  • Finger Foods – Avoid using any utensils by having quick and easy finger food items. Examples are chips and dip, pizza, sliced sandwiches, hotdogs and burgers, which helps cut waste from non-recyclable plastic utensils.
  • Reusable containers – If bringing items made from home, bring them in reusable containers like Tupperware. Any leftovers are securely sealed and easy to store. Reusable containers help reduce waste and encourage repurposing.
  • Paper-based or recycled plastic dishware & flatwareDitch the polystyrene (Styrofoam) plates, bowls and cups which are made from petroleum, aren’t recyclable and can leak toxic chemicals.
    • Use dishware made from paper-based sources or from recycled plastic. Paper sources come from a renewable resource (trees) and recycled plastic gives extra longevity to plastic.
    • Use plant-derived plastic or bamboo utensils – Bamboo is also a renewable resource and plant-derived plastic is compostable and biodegradable.

If you have additional ideas or suggestions for green tailgates, leave a comment below!

By using these green tailgating tips you can have fun at the game and reduce your environmental footprint. Share this post with fellow football fans so they can get some good ideas for tailgates!

-Michael Nguyen

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