Olympic Tourists Urged to Offset Their Carbon Footprint
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SEATTLE (KPLU) - The 2010 Winter Olympics kick off next month in Vancouver, B.C. The organizers have gone to great lengths to try to make this the first carbon-neutral Olympics ever held. And they're hoping the tens of thousands of spectators who travel to see the games will volunteer to pitch in.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee has painstakingly calculated the event's carbon footprint, right down to the CO2 that'll be emitted by the relay of the Olympic Torch.

The group's strategy has been to minimize greenhouse gas emissions through conservation and renewable energy. For the emissions that can't be avoided, they're buying carbon offsets, paying into a fund that invests in green energy projects. The Olympic committee's Ann Duffy says organizers also want to help the many visitors to the games offset their carbon footprint.

"And we've made a very easy-to-use program to invite these individuals and organizations to cover their emissions associated with air and on-the-ground travel."

There's even a website where you can calculate how much CO2 your journey will emit.

Organizers say they're confident that between their efforts - and those of sponsors, visitors and others - they'll succeed in making the event carbon-neutral.

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Liam Moriarty (2010-01-11)