How much energy does the Super Bowl use?
Scarfing down endless appetizers. Crowding around the TV. Donning your favorite team’s colors. That’s right, the Super Bowl is upon us again. As you’re enjoying the loaded nachos, it may not be top of mind to think about the energy use and sustainability impacts associated with the big game. But there are some important considerations to keep in mind. We’ll break down the stats and provide some ideas for being a bit more sustainable, regardless of where you’re headed to catch the action.
Energy and sustainability at the big game
Planning to travel and watch the game in person? We’re jealous.
When you arrive, you can expect to be joining, on average, over one million other fans. With many of these traveling for the big game, there can be a significant requirement in terms of energy before and during the game (such as hotels being booked to capacity, etc.) In 2012, the Super Bowl held at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, along with area venues, used 15,000 MWH of electricity, which is equivalent to the power needed by 1,400 average U.S. homes in a full year!
Driven to support sustainability efforts, the NFL joined the Green Sports Alliance in 2018. The environmental trade organization is focused on sustainability efforts in communities across the nation. For 25 years, the league has carried out a variety of environmentally friendly initiatives, ranging from recycling at the game, to using green power, and even book drives.
By participating in sustainability initiatives at the big game, such as recycling or using the same cup for refills, you can help contribute to a greener event.
Energy at home
If you’re planning to join the more than 100 million people catching the game on television, you’ll likely be contributing to the estimated 75GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity used to power those TVs. While this number is pretty staggering, there are plenty of ways to be mindful about your energy usage and be a bit greener about your celebration. From an overall perspective, consider doing some activities, such as cooking and cleaning, during off-peak energy times. PJM Interconnection, a grid operator serving 65 million people, discusses breaks down Super Bowl energy use in their quick video.
Some other things you can do:
Consider turning down the thermostat prior to a large crowd arriving. Multiple people can increase the temperature in your home, so plan ahead. This will help reduce energy strain, as well.
Make the most of your oven; if possible, don’t just cook one item at a time. Or, consider other ways to cook your food, such as crock pots or toaster ovens. And when it comes to serving that buffalo chicken dip, if you’re using disposable dishes, make sure they’re compostable.