“Super Bowl Consumes America”
By, Emily May
Consumed by America on Super Bowl Sunday:
181 million Americans, roughly three-fourth of our population, will get together on Super Bowl Sunday for the biggest feast of overindulgence independent of Thanksgiving. The pigskin, body paint, cheerleaders, beer and chicken wings call to Americans like mom and apple pie. But much of this gluttonous holiday that leaves many of our wallets empty, and our waistlines tighter is thrown in the trash after the hangovers set in, and the sick days are taken.
The 48th Super Bowl held in New Jersey at the MetLife stadium expected 7 to 8 tons of waste to be generated by the game within the stadium. Let’s take a moment to think of how much waste is produce by the other 99% of the Super Bowl’s audience at home. Referencing the statistics above, it is a startling thought that an estimated 3,472,000,000 beer cans and bottles, along with 1,250,000,000 chicken bones will be heading into the trash bins on this annual, ceremonious Sunday.
The MetLife stadium, already touted to be one of the most eco-friendly stadiums in the NFL, set a high standard for Super Bowl venues moving forward. They sent the several miles of fabric banners in use out for reuse and recycling. All of their food waste was transported to a processing center for future composting, and uses in landscaping. The following year, Phoenix paid close attention and for the 49th Super Bowl they claim to have diverted 73% of their would-be landfill waste to recycling, reuse, and composting centers.
It is refreshing to hear the NFL, or at least the independent stadium venues, are making a large effort to lessen their carbon footprint during this annual event. Levi’s has made grand gestures in the past in preserving open land, and fundraising for environmental causes; let’s see what they do this year with their brand new stadium and Super Bowl 50.
NOTE: All materials in this installation were upcycled. Do your part!