As the end of the Olympic Games draws near, its environmentally friendly impacts are sure to be award-winning all in their own. When planning began nine years ago, the overall theme for the 2012 Olympics was sustainability and its influence can be felt upon first stepping foot into Olympic Village. All spectators receive a one-day pass toward public transportation and have the options to use England’s train services at reduced rates. Athletes and volunteers zip through Olympic Village courtesy of BMW’s zero-emission electric cars; when they need recharging; the vehicles can be energized at one of the 120 GE DuraStations.
Transportation isn’t the only green feature of the games; the Olympics’ food initiative is run by a zero-waste mentality; all packaging of the 14 million meals expected to be served at the events is recyclable. With around 260 recycling bins donated by Coca-Cola, finding a portal to dispose waste should not be a challenge. In all, the experts predict 70% of the 8,000 tons of waste produced by spectators and attendees will be recycled.
Every structure built for the London 2012 Olympics was done with sustainability and energy-efficiency in mind. The indoor cycling and badminton stadiums were designed to collect rainwater from sloped roofs, which (by the conclusion of the Games) is expected to reduce total water consumption by 40 percent. Eco-friendly activists can celebrate upon the Games’ conclusion knowing the temporary structures were composed of PVC fabric, a material that can be easily recycled and reused for future construction projects.
The Copper Box, composed of recycled copper cladding, will become a permanent fixture for London events. Equipped with 88 light pipes, the structure is filled with natural light during the day and is expected to weather beautifully into earthly turquoise colorings. Its sloped roof collects rainwater used for indoor plumbing, and is expected to reduce total water consumption by 40 percent.,/p>
In total, the Olympic Games are expected to produce around 9 to 10 percent of its energy from on-site renewable sources, with a reduction of a carbon output by 40 percent. Future host cities will have a competition trying to steal the gold from London’s Olympic green efforts.
Elizabeth Magnani is a writer for Granite Transformations, a company specializing energy-efficient remodeling projects. With easy to install cabinet kitchen refacing and recycled glass countertops, Granite offers a variety of eco-friendly options for redesigns.