Sustainable Tailgating 101

Written by
Grace Pawlowski
Published on
September 29, 2019 at 5:10:00 PM PDT September 29, 2019 at 5:10:00 PM PDTth, September 29, 2019 at 5:10:00 PM PDT
Some would argue that the “pre-game” party is just as much fun as the game. Food, drinks and good company make tailgating a fabulous football tradition. Setting up shop outside of your home doesn’t mean you have to create waste. Urban Market Bags has some easy tips to make the most of your tailgate with sustainability in mind.

Carpool & Public Transportation
If you don’t need a car (ie, the tailgate is elsewhere than your car trunk), don’t bring a car. That’s one less engine running. Public transit is a great option (skip parking and possibly traffic!). Otherwise, carpooling is the way to go.

Sustainable Food Choices
  • Avoid single serving packaged goods — buy in bulk!
  • Less meat, more vegetables — it’s healthier for the environment.
  • Finger food — for an entirely waste-free option!
  • Shop local — try to purchase local goods and support local businesses.

Biodegradable Plates & Utensils
It may cost a few extra dollars, but the impact is huge when it comes to keeping plastic out of our waterways and landfills. Wood utensils may be a better alternative to biodegradable when you consider the entire lifecycle. If you’re really committed then you’ll skip disposable altogether! Stock up online or use your purchasing power at your local store.

Bring Your Own Cup (Or Two!)
If you’re planning on having a drink before the game, bring your reusable water bottle. For disposable cup options, go biodegradable or compostable! Not so fun fact: solo cups are hard to recycle.

Charcoal vs. Propane?
The jury is still out. If you’re using charcoal, use lump charcoal and a chimney starter instead of easy-start briquettes or lighter fluid. Lump charcoal is all-natural and produces less ash. If you decide to use propane, remember to turn off the grill and use only what you need. Grilling a variety of foods (with less red meat) will have the most impact when it comes to sustainable grilling options.

Recycle, Compost & Trash Bins
Clearly labeled bins to reduce landfill waste is a major win. It also encourages you to leave no trace behind and reminds all your neighbors to consider their eco-friendly tailgating options.

Choose Quality Over Quantity
Try to shop with purpose and acquire tailgating items like tents, chairs and grills that will last a long time and endure changing seasons. Borrow from a friend or shop second-hand for quality items that have a lot more life left in them and feel good about saving money and reducing your environmental impact.

Lead a Movement
What’s better than going green at your tailgate? Inspiring others to do the same. Many organizations promote sustainable and responsible tailgating and would love for you to support the cause. Share on social media, remind your friends and set a good example.

Touchdown Recipes
Now that you know the trick to being an eco-friendly, tailgating master, here are some of our favorite recipes for the big game.