Olympic Medals are Going Green
In an effort to partake in more sustainable and green practices, this year’s Olympic medals are made from e-waste.
E-waste is another term for electronic waste. It includes everything from laptops to televisions to mp3 players and so forth. The medal making process started with the extracting of gold, silver and copper in 2006, by the Teck Resources mining company. The company plans to process 15,000 tons of e-waste this year—a major increase from the 2,100 tons processed 4 years ago.
Designed by Omer Arbel and Corrine Hunt, the medals include imagery of Vancouver’s coast and orca whales. You can check out a video about the design here. To win a medal made of recycled materials may be a first in the Olympics and some athletes are perfectly happy about that. US speed skater, Katherine Reutter, said “I would be extremely proud to have a medal made of recycled metals”.
Along with medals made from e-waste, this year’s Winter Olympics include sustainable venues, with things like waste heat reuse at the Whistler Sliding Center and rainwater capture and reuse at the Richmond Olympic Oval. You can also find sustainability reports, carbon management information, and other information on the VANOC website.
By Heidi Marshall