Be Green

Be a part of Notre Dame’s efforts to #GoIrish #BeGreen!

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The tradition of tailgating at Notre Dame has become as popular and as important as attending the game itself with many fans considering tailgating the ultimate game day experience.  

To help you score a winning touchdown with your recycling, we’ve come up with a list of our top 5 tips to help make your Game Day tailgate the greenest it can be.  But first, let's get some basics out of the way. Upon entering the north and south parking lot entrances, you will be provided one large clear bag and one large dark bag.  The clear bag is for your recyclables (empty bottles and cans only), and the dark bag is for everything else.  Before leaving your tailgate area for the game, place your tied-up dark bag and your untied clear bag behind your vehicle so that we can pick those up for you while you are enjoying the game.  Remember, the only items that should be in your clear bag are empty bottles and cans - everything else goes in the dark trash bag.

Tip #1:  Reusables, Reusables, Reusables
We can’t talk about sustainable tailgating without the word reusables.  Things like reusable tablecloths, beverage containers and drink dispensers, cups (like the new aluminum cups which can be reused but are also accepted in our Game Day recycling), and serving utensils like plates and silverware should be in your tailgating supply inventory.  The Notre Dame Hammes Bookstore carries many eco-friendly tailgate options you can purchase, and you’ll have sets of reusables for every game of the season.

Tip #2: Have a game plan for your leftovers
Think about ways you can minimize food waste by making a game plan for your leftovers. Reusable/resealable containers are a great way to store any food that’s left in your cooler before heading into the stadium.  This will help ensure your leftovers stay fresh and can be consumed after an Irish victory.  Wasted food is the single largest category of material placed in landfills.  Help the Fighting Irish fight hunger by feeding people instead of landfills.

Tip #3:  Purchase only beverages in containers that are recyclable
We've made recycling outside of the stadium convenient and easy for our tailgate fans.  We highly encourage you to purchase beverages in aluminum or plastic containers, and make glass containers your last resort.  This will help make it easier for you to recycle correctly in the tailgate lots, and eliminating glass provides a safer process for our recycling crew when picking up your recyclable items.  (Just make sure to place the lid back on your container before tossing it into your recycling bag.)  There are many flavors and sizes to choose from, and helps avoid any confusion of which containers are recyclable and which ones are not. 

Tip #4:  Have something to collect your soiled, reusable dishware in
Try a pop-up hamper to collect your reusable soiled cups, plates, and serving utensils.  Having a designated place where your guests can leave their used cups, plates, and serving utensils helps keep your tailgate area neat and tidy, making for an easy clean-up before heading into the game.

Tip #5:  Get creative, enjoy your tailgate, but leave no trace
Challenge  yourself to be as green as you can when planning your tailgate - or try one new sustainable action each game.  Providing clearly-designated trash and recycling receptacles for your guests is a great way to keep your tailgate area neat and tidy for easier clean-up.  That way, you can get into the stadium in time for kick-off.  Leaving nothing behind, including your tailgate accessories like games, chairs, tables, and banner flags, even if they are broken, is one of the best things you can do to ensure everyone has a great tailgate experience.

We've also made recycling inside the stadium easy and convenient. Throughout the upper and lower level concourse areas, you will find clearly marked green Recycle containers where you can place your clean, empty plastic water bottles.

For more information, visit the Game Day Recycling page.