Coke to step it up in Vancouver

By Rick MacDonnell
Question: How many hours of television can a person watch on the
amount of energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can?

This was just one of several dozens of questions included in Coke's "Green Jeopardy" game outside of its trailer in Vegreville, Alberta today, the second stop in the Olympic Torch run through the province. Kids competed for bragging rights, rather than prizes, and that was more than fine with them. Answers were shouted with a gusto usually reserved for race tracks.

"The concept of the games is to teach kids about green practices in a way that's fun and enjoyable," said Kristy Payne, Coke's public affairs manager, who will be carrying the torch in Edmonton tonight. "Kids need to know that living green isn't just about grand gestures; it's also about living an active lifestyle and doing small things to help the environment every day."

Coke, an Olympic sponsor for since 1928, is making great strides to decrease its environmental footprint, especially with the 2010 games in Vancouver.

"At Coke, we now have something called a 'plant bottle,' which is a bottle of Coke made from 30% natural plant materials," Payne said. "Every single coke bottle at the games will be a plant bottle."

Most staggering is Coke's plan to leave the Olympic games having created no waste whatsoever. "We're shooting for zero waste in Vancouver. By working closely with both WWF Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation, we've formulated a plan that should allow Coke to achieve 100% collection of all waste products, and we will recycle 99.9% of that."

At each of the Torch relay stops, as well as throughout the entire Olympic games, Coke employees will wear clothing completely manufactured through recycled Coke products. "Each employee you see is wearing approximately 234 recycled Coke products. Our jackets are 25, our ski pants are 20, our gloves are 3, and so on. The numbers are printed right on each piece of clothing, so it's a great way to generate awareness," Payne said.

They look great, too.

Oh, and the answer was three.

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