Winter Olympics Have Too Much Green and Some Snow

olympic medal photo

Image from engadget

The Vancouver Winter Olympics are starting next week and there is a lot of rain in Vancouver...and not that much snow on the mountain. The truth is they are calling them the Spring Olympics because there is a little too much green happening right now. Let's focus on the positive: there are some surprising sustainable aspects to the event.

Like the medals! They are made of recycled circuit boards. A Canadian mining company reduced the gold, silver, and bronze from the circuit boards of old computers and has melted them down and re-cast them into the Olympic medals. That was part of the brief of the competition. The designs are by a First Nations artist from the Raven Gwa'waina clan, of the Kwakwaka'wakw village on Vancouver Island.

torch olympic photo

Image from Vancouver Olympics

Then there's the torch. It will travel by canoe. Torchbearer Ali Hunt will carry the Olympic Flame in a Kwakiutl First Nations traditional canoe and pass it to another torchbearer in a canoe.

It will also be transported in an electric scooter with zero emissions. Tzeporah Berman, a Canadian environmentalist, is hoping that the Olympics will electrify the world. As she says "My plan is to make the connection between the hope and inspiration of the Olympics and the promise of electric vehicles and clean energy."

whistler shelter photo

Image from urban movement design

Over in the athlete's village on Whistler mountain, these funky bus shelters and benches have been designed with body shapes and exercise in mind. Created by a small firm of designers who are trained in yoga and pilates as well, they want to show that accessibility and physical activity are integral to social and health sustainability. The bike structures allow for stretching and the bus shelters allow for 5 different ways of sitting and reclining. They will all be left in situ when the games are over.

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