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Greener Tailgating

Oklahoman’s love their football but tailgating and football parties can create a lot of waste. So what’s an eco-friendly Okie to do? Don’t worry you can still have fun and reduce your impact at the same time, here are some ideas to get you started.

Food
Grilling is a popular option for tailgating and football parties but conventional food for grilling can have harmful ingredients like nitrates and the meat often comes from inhumane feedlots. There are better options though and they are available at natural food stores all over the state. Here are some great options for your next party.


Applegate Farm’s hot dogs are free of artificial nitrates and full of favor. They also come from family owned farms and from humanely raised animals. Applegate Farms offers several great options including; organic grass-fed beef, organic beef hot dogs, organic stadium-style hot dogs, organic chicken hot dogs, organic turkey hot dogs, natural turkey hot dogs, natural chicken hot dogs, natural beef hot dogs, and natural New York style hot dog.

Oklahoma has a lot of great local beef and bison that is perfect for grilling but if you aren’t able to find any at your local natural grocery store, Applegate Farm’s also offers natural and organic frozen burgers. You can choose from organic beef, organic turkey and natural chicken burgers.

Meat can have a pretty big environmental impact so it’s good to try and have some meatless meals as well, so if you are wanting a meatless meal or have any vegetarians coming why not make some homemade black bean burgers? Whole Foods has a great recipe for a black bean burger that is sure to make even the meat eaters happy.

Don’t forget the organic buns, check with local bakeries but if a local option is not available try Rudi’s. You will also need snack foods, there are great organic brands of chips and other snack and also some wonderful local options. And for your sweet tooth if you are in the OKC area head over to Green Goodies by Tiffany or in the Tulsa area check out Hi, Cupcake or Kupcakz for some organic cupcakes.

Dishes
If you are at home it’s best to use real dishes if possible. If you plan to have a lot of parties a good option for dishes is to check local thrift stores for a few cheap sets to have just for party use.

If real dishes aren’t an option, here are some more eco-friendly options.

Preserve tableware is made from 100% recycled plastic and can be reused dozens of times. When you are done with them they are also recyclable.


These beautiful plates from VerTerra are made from fallen leaves and water. They are non-toxic and compostable. Your guests will be wowed by these eco-friendly dishes.

Decorations


These wreaths are made from burlap and can be made in any color for your favorite team. It’s a great way to show your team spirit all season long.

How about a reusable banner for your favorite team? These are great on the food table, above the sofa or where ever you need to show off your team spirit.


Wanting to stay a bit more neutral? This reusable banner will keep all the football fans happy.


A table runner is a great way to decorate your table for the big game.
These are just a few ideas to help you have a greener football experience, be sure share your ideas as well either in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 


About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 

 

Sooners Going Green

The University of Oklahoma (OU) has been working to make the campus greener and it’s paying off. OU has seen a 13% reduction in waste in fiscal year 2009. They recycled 932.55 tons, which was a 20% increase of recycled goods from fiscal year 2008.

OU is doing more than just recycling, they have much bigger projects as well. One of their larger projects is a green roof on the National Weather Center’s sixth-floor outdoor classroom. The project comprises of 1,280 square feet of space and 160 planted green roof trays. These trays are made of lightweight sand, clay, and organic material, this mix is about a third of the weight of regular topsoil. The project will remain on the Nation Weather Center roof for up to three years and then will be moved to a permanent location.

Another large project for OU is their switch to wind power. They signed an agreement with Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company (OG&E) to purchase 100% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2013. OG&E has been working on a new 101 megawatt wind farm that is called ‘OU Spirit.’ It will feature 44 turbines and produce enough power for around 25,000 homes.

OU is also working on many other smaller, but just as important, projects to help the school on it’s way to being more eco-friendly. Just a few of these great projects include, use of natural citrus acid bathroom cleaners, dye, fragrance and phosphate free glass cleaner, and other more natural cleaners.


They are also reducing energy with things like occupancy sensors for office lighting and motion sensors for vending machines. And in the restaurants you will find things like organic fair-trade coffee, locally produced cheese, local produce, and organic beef.

OU is helping lead the way in greener universities and is something for Oklahomans to be proud of. You can learn more about OU’s green projects on their website Crimson and Green.