At the end of this week, the whole world was concentrated at one place on this planet – Rio de Janeiro.
Games of the 31st Olympiad were officially opened, followed by stunning colorful ceremony where we have seen dozens of athletes representing their countries.
There is certainly one thing that came to my eye and to the eyes of the world – their sustainable message.
Athletes who were participating in the Parade of Nations were planting “Seeds of Hope” by placing seeds of native trees of Brazil into the cartridges in the large mirror towers.
The plant that each kid was carrying beside the athletes who were holding the flags was a mature version of trees that athletes planted.
“The towers which moments ago symbolized urban claustrophobia will house the seeds, which will grow into the Athletes’ Forest in the area of Deodoro. This will be Rio 2016’s legacy,” the official website of the Olympics explained.
We could see at the end of the Parade of Nations, the top of the towers were rearranged into five Olympic rings. The message is clear and the idea and creativity behind that is stunning! This way all the athletes could leave their mark behind.
But that is not the whole message coming from the Olympic Games, this event is doing much more for the environment than we think and than it has been told.
So what do the Olympics do for the environment?
Nowadays sustainability is an essential part of modern Olympic Games. The number of people who participate into making the event is impressive since there is more than 100.000 people involved in delivering the Games, without the visitors expected. So the sustainable mission of the Olympic Games is quite challenging. They take care and work on improvements in energy, water, waste management, more efficient transport and ethical supply chains.
Their environmental awareness include water treatment and conservation, use of renewable energy, air quality and transportation, protection of soils and ecosystems, sustainable design and construction, reforestation, biodiversity and solid waste management.
In terms of transportation during the Games in order to manage carbon footprint, several kinds of public transportation are provided, clean fuels and the shortest routes are being used.
There was also a sustainable plan for construction in order to minimize environmental impacts.
The idea was to minimize constructions of new venues so half of the venues that are used already exist, and the other half is constructed in a way so that they can be moved around and reused after the Games. Other efforts of sustainable construction that are undertaken are making compact designs, using recycled or renewable sources, reducing carbon emissions, rationalizing use of water, improving energy efficiency, minimizing removal and transplantation, preserving existing patches of vegetation, etc. Also environmental recovery systems are used for each area where the Games are held, as well as monitoring air, water and noise pollution.
Finally, it amazes me when famous events or people use their publicity in the right way – promoting something healthy. This event surely sent a very strong message to the whole world and used their publicity in the most appropriate way.
Additional links and sources to find out more about the sustainable plan of the Olympics 2016:
Click to access Plano_Gestao_Sustentabilidade_EN.pdf