Tuesday, July 19, 2011


There's a general consciousness that seems to surround London, relating to lowering carbon emissions, recycling, and other aspects of sustainability. Most of the food labels describe how much recycled material was used to make them, and tells which parts can be recycled and where.

Example from my sandwich carton

This consciousness even extends to the demolition and construction of Olympic Park where the 2012 Summer Games will be held. The site was selected in part because it will benefit London's east end. Sustainability has also been a key factor from the start. According to Sean (our Blue Badge Guide), a promise that 95% of the demolished material would be recycled was part of the contract. In reality, 98% of the materials were recycled for the Olympic Park and other projects.

2012 Olympic Stadium: After the games, everything behind the
white beams will disappear to create a smaller stadium.

Hiring local workers was also part of the agreement. It was agreed that at least 350 local workers would be trained and employed during the construction of the site. At the last count, 408 local workers have been
2012 Sculpture, ArcellorMittal Orbit will
 be the tallest structure at the Olympic site.
 Later it will be an East End London Eye.

Working to become part of the community and to better the world does not stop with the end of construction. On site, there is a rain water catch with the intention that rain water be used for the toilets in the park, with any leftover being using to water the greenery. Also, following the games certain structures will be removed altogether or morph into something that can bring events to the community. This a huge part of the legacy of the park.

Going Green in the United States is the in  thing to do, but the way it's done makes it seem more like a passing fad (like the reduce, reuse, recycle of the 90s) rather than something of value. While, these pieces of sustainability are built into what's already being done and work to complete a larger puzzle. This is one aspect of London living that I would like to follow me home.

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