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Green Your Tailgating, No Matter Your School’s Colors


What happens when you get 92,000 people together in one place on a Saturday before a football game? Tailgating is one of the most fun parts of watching a football game (both college and pro), but it isn’t one of the most environmentally friendly. Have you ever seen what those parking lots and lawns look like after a game?

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Even when trashcans are provided, trash is littered everywhere. The residents, cities and schools end up spending lots of time trying to clean up the trash from the event. Even with recycling programs in place, all the recyclables never seem to end up in the right collection bin.

However, there are some practical ways that fans can green their tailgating and still have fun. Ready to find out how? Green 32, green 32 … set … hike.

1. Reusable plates, utensils and cups

Even the red Solo cup has a reusable cousin. Recycled plastic plates, reusable utensils and cloth napkins can be used for tailgating, and you can save them and use them again at the next game. These products are more durable than the traditional disposable products and can be tossed in the dishwasher when you get home.

2. Recycle at home

Keep a bag or box in your tailgate area and take your empty cans and bottles home to recycle, or drop them off on your way out of town at the local recycle center.

3. Low-waste or zero-waste food

Avoid individually packaged foods, buy in bulk and bring fresh food whenever possible. This will cut down on the amount of waste that you have to dispose of at the end of the day. Food scraps can be composted; just toss them in a bag to take home and compost.

4. Take an extra trash bag and share with a neighbor

Perhaps a neighboring fan forgot to bring their own trash bag. By sharing, you are helping keep the area clean. Before you leave for the day, perhaps you could pick up just a few pieces of trash from the surrounding area for any fans who may not be as tidy (or may be too intoxicated to realize what they’ve done).

5. Leave only footprints, take only memories

It’s a pretty easy concept, really — take everything you brought with you. Don’t leave any games, broken chairs, tables or trash behind. When thinking about souvenirs for the day, consider the items carefully and make sure they are durable.

It amazes me just how bad these parking lots and lawns can look after a game. We all know better, so let’s enjoy the football season sustainably.

What “green” tailgating tips do you have to share? Leave them in the comments.

Feature image courtesy of Daniel X. O’Neil

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Calley Pate

A self-described eco-junkie, Calley Pate is the owner and editor of

The Eco Chic

blog covering eco-friendly living, cloth diapers, parenting, photography, and life in general. Her passion growing up was the arts and the ocean. After working as an environmental contractor, Calley took the leap into blogging full time in 2011.Calley is also Marketing & Social Media Manager for Kelly’s Closet cloth diaper retailer.

Latest posts by Calley Pate (see all)

Green Your Tailgating, No Matter Your School’s Colors – September 6, 2017
9 Eco-Friendly, Upcycled Thanksgiving Decoration Ideas – November 20, 2015
The Upcycled Office Space – November 9, 2015



Green Your Tailgating, No Matter Your School’s Colors

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It’s National Secondhand Wardrobe Day: How You Can Participate


Chances are, you have a clothing item (or 10) in your closet that you don’t wear, haven’t worn since the previous solar eclipse and have no plans to wear here or in a parallel universe. But, before you purge your closet and launch your lightly worn items to a landfill to join the 13 million tons of textiles disposed of each year, consider this: National Secondhand Wardrobe Day is today, and you’re invited!

Swap, Don’t Shop

Disposing of clothing that you don’t wear isn’t just wasteful, it’s extremely unsustainable and oh so unfashionable. Even today, with all the convenient ways to sell your clothes for cash, a staggering 85 percent of discarded textiles are sent to landfills annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet, the majority of people are not extending the life cycle of their gently worn clothes while cashing in or greening them forward.

Today, global waste in the fashion industry is a real issue. In fact, it takes 2,700 liters of water just to create one cotton T-shirt. National Secondhand Wardrobe Day is breathing new life into old clothes, allowing consumers to offset their carbon footprint by exchanging or recycling their used garments.

What if I told you that you could recycle, donate or upcycle those tatty threads just by visiting a clothing swap pop-up location near you? Element Hotels, an eco-conscious, extended-stay brand, is hosting Element Exchange today across the country for hotel guests and community members. Some events will even offer sustainable sips of organic wine and tasty treats while you “shop.”

With the coveted LEED certification, Element Hotels doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. All of their hotels are built sustainably using eco-friendly practices from the ground up and supporting local communities. The hotel chain features bright interiors with natural light, eco-friendly fixtures and recycling bins in every guest room, recycled materials in the carpeting, low-VOC interior paints, saltwater swimming pools, bikes to borrow, workout bikes in the fitness center that charge your cell phone while you pedal, and electric vehicle charging stations outdoors.

6 Ways to Participate in National Secondhand Wardrobe Day

While orange may be the new black, vintage is the new rack. Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of buying items that just don’t live up to their impulse-purchase hype. Here’s how else you can swap and save.

  1. Host Your Own Clothing Swap
  2. Sell Your Clothes Online with thredUP or Poshmark.
  3. Donate Your Clothes to Goodwill, Dress for Success, the Salvation Army or the Vietnam Veterans of America. The latter two will even pick up the items from your front door.
  4. Rent the Runway for your next soiree or event.
  5. Sell Your Wedding Garments Online with Preowned Wedding Dresses.
  6. Donate Your Wedding Dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer.

One man’s or woman’s trash truly is another’s treasure. Making sustainable choices in your clothing selections just makes sense. This year, get involved to help those less privileged by giving your time or, literally, the clothes off your back. Remember, on National Secondhand Wardrobe Day, don’t shop — swap till you drop!

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock

Read More:
Rags to Riches: 5 Ways to Earn Cash from Your Closet
Swapping Is Sexy: How to Host a Clothing Swap Party
How to Shop for Clothes with the Earth in Mind

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Lisa Beres

Lisa Beres is a healthy home expert, Baubiologist, published author, professional speaker and Telly award-winning media personality who teaches busy people how to eliminate toxins from their home with simple, step-by-step solutions to improve their health. With her husband, Ron, she is the co-founder of

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. She is the author of the children’s book

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and co-author of

Just Green It!: Simple Swaps to Save Your Health and the Planet


Learn to Create a Healthy Home! Green Nest Creating Healthy Homes


The 9 to 5 Greened: 10 Steps to a Healthy Office

. Lisa’s TV appearances include “The Rachael Ray Show,” “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “TODAY,” “The Doctors,” “Fox & Friends,” “Chelsea Lately” and “The Suzanne Somers Show.”

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Latest posts by Lisa Beres (see all)

It’s National Secondhand Wardrobe Day: How You Can Participate – August 25, 2017
Perk Up Your Workout with a Recycled Coffee Grounds Sports Bra – July 24, 2017
The 4 Things You MUST Test for in Your Home Right Now – July 14, 2017


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It’s National Secondhand Wardrobe Day: How You Can Participate

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4 Ways to Have the Greenest Christmas Tree

Decorating an outside tree is just one way you can have a greener holiday season. Photo: Shutterstock

‘Tis the season to start looking for the perfect tree to light up your home for the holidays.

Since most Christmas trees are grown on reputable farms, live trees are now a more eco-friendly option than artificial trees, which are made from nonrecyclable materials. But if you’re looking to go even greener this season, there are other sustainable options available.

Rent a Live Tree

Many nurseries now offer the option to rent out live trees, and some even come fully decorated. The renter simply waters the tree throughout the season, then takes it back to the nursery to be cared for until the next year.

Get a Plantable Bulb

No tree-renting nurseries near you? Why not get a plantable bulb tree? After the holidays, you can plant it outdoors, further lowering your carbon footprint.

Decorate an Outside Tree

Decorate your yard and your tree at the same time by planting and decorating an outside Christmas tree. Another perk — you get to appreciate it year-round, not just during the holidays.


If you’re still inclined to get a cut tree, there are several recycling options available. Leftover trees can be used for mulch, erosion, habitat creation and more. Check out our treecycling search to find a recycling option near you.



4 Ways to Have the Greenest Christmas Tree

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Tips for a Greener Thanksgiving

Using reusable utensils and making decorations from fall foliage are just a couple of ways to have a greener Thanksgiving. Photo: Shutterstock

At the first Thanksgiving, pilgrims ate food that was harvested locally and naturally, and you can bet that plastic and Styrofoam didn’t figure into the equation. It’s time to take some sustainability tips from our ancestors by hosting an environmentally friendly Thanksgiving of our own.

Diane MacEachern of Big Green Purse offers 10 great tips for how to have a greener Thanksgiving. Try these for starters:

• Don’t opt for one-occasion-only Thanksgiving decorations. Simply go outside and collect some branches, berries and leaves and make fall foliage creations of your own.

• Instead of using paper, plastic or Styrofoam dinnerware, use reusable dishware and make wash time a family bonding event.

• Rather than wrapping leftovers in plastic or aluminum foil, send them home in inexpensive glass jars (and share the many ways these jars can be reused, like for recipes, crafts, gifts and more).

For more green Thanksgiving tips from MacEachern, visit her blog.


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Tips for a Greener Thanksgiving

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