Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Medals are Green

No they didn't change the traditional medals of Gold, Silver and Bronze to green, but they did use reclaimed metal for the first time in this year's Olympic and Paralympic medals. Vancouver-based Teck Resources extracted gold, silver, and copper from old electronics using a smelting process on cathode ray tube glass, circuit boards, and other computer parts. A total of 2.05 kg of gold, 1,950 kg of silver, and 903 kg of copper were reclaimed and used. Even though this is just a small percentage of recycled material in each of the 1,000 medals awarded, it is a start. The mining of gold and other metals is harmful to the planet, so reducing the amount of mined metals to any degree helps the planet. Hopefully future host cities will be inspired to build on this effort and increase the amount of reclaimed metals in future Olympic medals.