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The green ring on the Olympic flag might look a bit bigger this year compared to the others: London officials are aiming to make this summer’s 2012 Olympic Games the most eco-friendly to date. With initiatives ranging from massive recycling efforts to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, the British are looking to showcase their clean technologies and set a new standard for future international competitions.
These games are the first to be planned with sustainability in mind from the very earliest stages. The London 2012 Sustainability Plan focuses on five key themes:
To date, the London organizing committee has made great strides in creating the greenest Olympic Games to date. Carbon emissions will be 58% less than comparable sites. The new stadiums were constructed with recycled and reused materials and incorporate natural light and ventilation to reduce energy usage. Rain water and equipment-cleaning water will be collected for use in irrigation and to flush toilets, helping reducing water consumption by 60%. 247 acres of new green space have been planted with over 4,000 trees and 300,000 wetland plants. Plans are for all (yes, all) spectators to arrive by foot, bicycle or public transit, with almost 50 miles of new paths built.
These are all very impressive numbers for a spectacle the size and scale of the Olympics. Future event organizers still have something to aspire to though: only 10% of the event’s energy needs are currently coming from renewable sources.
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