The Olympics are often criticized for building many large buildings and then not using them once the games are over. Many host cities, especially recent ones, have promised to use their buildings once the games are done, and Vancouver is no exception. The host of the 2010 Winter Games, Vancouver is set to host one of the greenest games ever. In fact, they game’s directors have even set up a committee, the Advisory Committee on Sustainability Performance, to advise them on how to be as green as possible.
The Vancouver organizing committee has already made their extensive environmental plans public. They plan on putting systems in place to reuse wasted heat, capture rainwater for irrigation use, and compost waste. They’re also working with the David Suzuki Foundation to reduce the carbon footprint of the 2010 Olympics and to minimize its consumption of just about everything—water, material, and energy. They play on using as much energy-efficient products as possible and to make use of renewable energy sources. The committee also realizes that it will be impossible to eliminate all environmental impact and so will make use of carbon offsets to neutralize as much of the carbon dioxide as possible.
Here are some of the plans the Vancouver games’ organizing committee has for 2010:
• Biodegradable cleaning products and soaps will be used to minimize harm to local fish and wildlife.
• Nontoxic ice melter will be used.
• The Hillcrest National Bailey Stadium Park, where the curling events will be held, will capture heat from the refrigeration plant to heat the aquatics center pool.
• The roof of the Richmond Olympic Oval is made from salvaged pine.
• The athlete’s village will be transformed into modular living units for the homeless following the games.