Like many people, I was glued to my television last summer rooting for the U.S. during the Summer Olympics. The competition held a special significance because my husband is Brazilian, and he was immensely proud of his home country.
Unfortunately, the Olympics has a real impact on the environment. Getting more than 28,000 athletes, coaches and staff members to the games requires an impressive number of flights –– way more than usual.
More than 17 tons of waste were produced during the games, and 23,500 liters (or 6,208 gallons) of fuel were needed to transport athletes around the country.
There is good news. Rio's Olympics committee responded by making prize medals out of recyclable materials and encouraging composting of organic waste. Additionally, workers used public transport 100% of the time to help limit the environmental impact.
It's unavoidable that there will be some environmental damage when an event as big as the Olympics comes to town, but it's admirable that Rio officials did what they could to avoid impacting the planet more than necessary. We can only hope that the good work continues in Tokyo 2020.
If you're already itching for the next Olympic Games, check out our graphic comparing the original games in Greece to modern day.