London Olympics 2012: Sustainability Games

article credit: The Business Insider

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London aren’t just about sports. They’re also a chance to showcase the world what can be done with environmental sustainability at one monstrous event.

Organizers of this year’s event claim it will be the “most sustainable” Olympics to date, and they’ve spent years planning how to make it so – from how Olympic Stadium was constructed to the food served at the games to the transportation options offered. These measures will also likely have a lasting effect on London, as local businesses and Olympic vendors were pushed to adopt more sustainable practices and new urban green spaces were created for visitors.

Here’s a look at some of the interesting green practices springing up at this year’s summer games:

Sustainable fish. Roughly 14 million meals are expected to be served at this year’s Olympics, and many of those will likely be fish and chips. In early 2011, London committed to being the world’s first “Sustainable Fish City.” All caterers at the Olympics were required to serve sustainably sourced fish, which often meant finding new sustainable fishery suppliers. “Sustainable seafood” is that which is harvested at a sustainable rate, as to not deplete the world’s dwindling supply.

“Zero” Waste. London has billed itself the first “zero waste” Olympics, and the organizers put out several reports explaining how they planned to make that happen. It included ambitious recycling and reusing programs, as well as reducing packaging needs and other waste. Food waste at the games will be composted. About 90% of the material waste in the construction of the Olympic stadium was recycled or reused, so it didn’t end up in a landfill.

Transportation. Organizers are encouraging visitors to walk, bike or take public transportaion to get around the city and spent $15.5 million upgrading urban walkways and bike paths. An estimated 8,000 bikes are available for rent around the city through London’s Barclays Bike Hire program, which launched in summer 2010.

City greening. A few years ago, London officials started beautifying their city in preparation for the games. This included adding more park space and greenery around the Olympic Stadium. In London, for instance, more than 3,000 trees were planted in preparation and more than 15 tons of waste removed from the parks and waterways.

Olympics Goes Green with Recyclable Basketball Stadium

Hosting the Olympic Games has so far been a privilege bestowed only to a few wealthy countries who could afford the massive sports arenas. However, to level the proverbial playing field for countries with a slightly lesser budget, designers Wilkinson Eyre and Sinclair Knight Mertz have created a basketball arena that is not only budget-friendly for the organizers but also a lot greener than most of the permanent structures. The 2012 London Olympics Basketball Stadium project was created in collaboration with sports consultants KSS and as its name signifies, it would be used to organize the basketball competitions in this year’s Summer Olympics.

Built using 1,000 tonnes of steel, the design is neither very cheap nor 100 percent green but it certainly presents a great case for the incorporation of more sustainable designs for events of the same structure and crown attendance as the Olympics. Clad in white, the basketball stadium is made up of recyclable materials that can be reused.

For now, the 2012 London Olympics Basketball Stadium is a one of a kind project though members of the Olympics organizing committee as well as interested host nations agree that such sporting arenas could potentially bring the Games to nations with a little less spending power and provide a boost to their economies simultaneously making the Olympics greener.

via: Eco Friend

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