Green Olympics 2012: 12 Eco-Friendly Features

The 2012 Olympic Games in London aimed to be the most sustainable in history, with eco-friendly features like recyclable buildings, electric cars, amped-up recycling efforts and local food. So, have they met their goals? A promise to power the games using 20% local renewable sources was scrapped, and big sponsors like McDonalds, BP, Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical put a damper on environmentally friendly aspirations. But the London Olympics have delivered on many of their promises, including green buildings, recycling, transportation, carbon emissions and wildlife protection.

Green London Velodrome

(images via: LOCOG/london2012, EEPaul)

Designed by Hopkins Architects, the elegant London Velodrome boasts natural cooling, water harvesting and daylighting and was constructed with lightweight materials. The white roof reflects sunlight to keep the interior from getting too hot in the midsummer sun, and the cedar skin of the building is perforated to let fresh air cool the spectator stands. The bowl shape of the roof also collects rainwater, which is stored for later use.

Clean Energy, Low-Emissions Vehicles

(images via: bmw)

240 electric and hybrid cars are among the 4,000 vehicles that BMW has supplied to the 2012 Olympics in London. Driven by media, judges, event organizers, Games officials and staff, photographers and more, these low-emissions, renewable-energy vehicles will help Olympic organizers meet their low-carbon goal for the Games. Among the vehicles BMW is providing is the 3 Series Saloon, pictured above, which gets nearly 87 miles per gallon.

Recyclable Basketball Arena

(images via: the department for culture, media and sport)

When the Olympics are over, this smart stadium will be deconstructed and recycled. It’s mobile, lightweight, and all of the materials used to create it are set to go to other projects rather than ending up in landfills or languishing, unused, like some of the most iconic Olympic architecture left over from the 2008 games in Beijing.

Compostable Food Packaging Made of Bio Plastics

(images via: comedy nose)

Let’s be real: there are some problems with the London Olympics’ official food sponsor being McDonald’s. How can you call this fast junk food ‘green’? But at least the waste from all of that food packaging that will be generated as 6.5 million people are fed multiple meals and snacks per day will be reduced. All Olympics 2012 food packaging will be made from compostable materials like starch and cellulose.


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