Green Teams — volunteer squads who help fans with recycling, composting and more — have been fixtures at mega-sports events like Super Bowls, Final Fours and MLB All-Star Games for years.

Laura Stargel, Sustainability Coordinator for the Super Bowl LV Host Committee, had a big challenge for tomorrow’s Big Game in Tampa and the events surrounding it: How do you build and deploy a Green Team for a Super Bowl in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Her solution? Create a Virtual Green Team.

“We decided to build a Forever 55 Virtual Green Team — this really is my baby,” shared Stargel. “Thanks to its virtual nature, we can have members from all over the Tampa Bay region from diverse backgrounds to start conversations on social media about sustainable energy, water, food, and equity in the community.”

When it came to food, Stargel provided the Forever 55 Virtual Green Team with “Winning Plant-Based Recipes…For The Climate Change-Fighting Athlete In You,” featuring recipes from the kitchens of our EcoAthletes Champions, including former NFL Offensive Lineman and Super Bowl XLIX participant Garry Gilliam.

“The EcoAthletes’ plant-based cookbook has inspired our Forever 55 Virtual Green Team to share plant-based recipes for game day motivated by professional athletes around the world!,” Stargel enthused. “What better way to try something plant-based than a recommendation from a former NFL player?”

EcoAthletes founder Lew Blaustein is glad that the EcoAthletes Champions are playing a role in greening this year’s Big Game, albeit virtually.

“We are thrilled that Laura saw the value of the Champions’ plant-based recipe book for the Forever 55 Virtual Green Team,” related Blaustein. “Our goal is to spread the gospel that going plant-based — or reducing one’s meat intake — offers both health and climate benefits, the latter in the form of reduced carbon emissions.”

If you would like your own copy of “Winning Plant-Based Recipes,” all it takes is a minimum donation of $10 to EcoAthletes. Your generosity will help us spark a #ClimateComeback as we inspire and train athletes to lead climate action. Click here to donate and thank you very much for doing so.