An eco-friendly Super Bowl: The Patriots and Giants battle for green glory

They may be the NFL’s two best teams on the field this year, but their efforts to reduce their environmental impact puts them in a league of their own.

The New England Patriots and the New York Giants are set to face off in the Super Bowl this weekend after establishing their prowess as the NFL's top two teams this season. And while the rematch of the 2008 championship game is set to be a monumental sporting event, each organization has made history in recent years that would unfortunately be far from top headlines on ESPN. While many teams have made efforts to reduce their organization's energy consumption, none, perhaps, have gone as far as this year's two conference champs.

In 2010, the Giants moved into the brand new MetLife Stadium, which was promised to be one of the most environmentally friendly venues in sports after team management signed a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The facility was build with about 60,000 tons of recycled steel, and features seats that were made from recycled plastic and iron.

According to the stadium's website, the new arena has reduced its carbon footprint since 2009 by more than 268,000 MTCO2e (metric ton carbon dioxide equivalent), which is similar to the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from more than 30 million gallons of gasoline.

Just 200 miles north, the Patriots ownership has spearheaded an effort to increase reliance on renewable energy sources at Gillette Stadium and its neighboring attractions. In an agreement with energy provider NRG, the team has pledged to triple the amount of clean solar power generated at Patriot Place. Additionally, NRG and the Patriots owners, The Kraft Group, will look into adding a full-sized wind turbine that would be one of the largest renewable power installations at a major sports venue in the country.

The winner of the big game may be a toss up, but there's no question both organizations have proven to be champions when it comes to going green.

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