From Recycled Old Phones to 2020 Tokyo Olympic Medals

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics coming up in three more years, Japan has begun its plans for creating the medals. What they are asking from their public are their old cell phones and electronics to produce the 5,000 Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Medals. That is as much as eight tons of metal (40kg of gold, 4,920kg of silver, and 2,944kg of bronze after production) as they aim to collect. For such an important world wide event, Japan wants to “contribute to the story, to raise awareness about a sustainable future and to make a unique contribution.”

Tokyo 2020 Engages all of Japan in Medal Initiative 

Not only will this decrease the amount of e-trash in the landfill, but the project will also get the public to contribute with a simple act. Their project is similar to what we are trying to do with the exercising and picking up trash.

Running is now a destination sport

This morning I received an email from Homeaway (part of the sharing economy initiative — a competitor to AirBnb, and they also run VRBO, which has been around for awhile).  The email mentioned that Homeaway is now “the Official Accommodations Provider of Destination Races‘ Wine Country Half Marathon Series”.

The Wine Country Half Marathons sound fun, with half marathons taking place in Napa (California), Santa Barbara (California), Virginia, Oregon, and more.  On their web site, they highlight the benefits of participating in a Destination Race:

  • Scenery
  • Charity
  • Camaraderie (or is it Comraderie??)
  • Rewards
  • Celebration
  • Music
  • Culinary (for a Wine Country theme, I would have thought this would have been a higher priority, not 7th in the priority list 🙂
  • Competition

The destination – theme half marathon series is furthered with what Vacation Races is doing — which has a motto of “run where you play”.  For accommodations, Vacation Races takes a different approach than Destination Races.  Vacation Races focuses on providing campgrounds as opposed to housing or hotels.

Note: I have run Vacation Race’s Yosemite Half Marathon, and will run the race again in May with Martin (son), Naya (daughter), Betsy (sister), and David (brother-in-law).  It is a popular race, and has been sold out since beginning of the yer.

This is fun to see running taking a destination – theme approach. No longer are events and groups of events simply a run for winning, but an experience.  [ Note: In the golf industry 20 years ago, real estate developers and economic development groups did the same thing — building multiple golf courses in one place — to create a destination rather than just one golf course — Cabo, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, and more ]

We think this destination – theme trend is excellent, and something that might lend itself to more runners picking up trash and cleaning the environment they run in.


Article: Adidas creates swimwear range made from recycled ocean plastic as part of partnership with Parley for the Oceans

On July 14, 2016, I did a post about the upcoming problem of the amount of trash becoming greater than the population of fish with the current rate of disposed trash in the ocean. Cleaning up is one way, but what to do with it? Well recently, Adidas partnered up with Parley for Oceans to save marine life and clean water by creating swimwear range made from recycled ocean plastic, such as fishing nets.

This reminds me of a conversation that my dad and I had over the Christmas break while running at my grandma’s house in Colorado Springs.  We discussed using old t-shirts for building the backpacks.  My dad knows someone that has a business of taking someone’s old t-shirts and creating underwear for them (Kori Jock – La Vie en Orange). We can possibly do that with one of the designs of the Pick’n Run backpacks.

If you want to read on about the partnership between Adidas and Parley for Oceans, and their swimwear products, click on the link.

Article: What’s the big idea? Calling on innovators to get rid of Phoenix trash

Do you have what it takes to end waste through technology?  The city of Phoenix is looking to find ways to improve their trash management.  One way is their business / startup competition:

The winning idea idea will win $20,000 to go towards starting a business based around your idea.   As well, the winner will have the ability to pilot their idea in the City of Phoenix (i.e. a pilot opportunity).

It is interesting to see that the competition, the Cisco IoT Challenge, is sponsored by an information technology company (Cisco), a cable company (Cox Communications), and the Arizona Institute for Digital Progress.

Contestants submitted their ideas by February 4th, and pitches were given yesterday, Saturday, February 11th.   From now until March 23rd participants will “Hack at Home”, where they will develop their minimal viable products.  They will be supported by online mentoring.  Final pitches will be March 23rd.

Time to Pimp up for Picking up Trash

There are invisible heroes, walking around the streets that you may not know about. They are the catadores. They go around cities, picking up trash off the streets and into their carroça, and then selling the trash at a very low price for a form of currency. Mundano, a graffiti artist and TED Fellow, created a project called “Pimp My Carroça” in order to promote the catadores through art and community.  He wants people to recognize these heroes in not only Brazil, but around the world. Click on this link to listen to the whole video about Mundano’s inspiration in forming this worldwide project.

His project is actually very similar to what Pick’n Run is trying to do.

Giving e-Trash a Second Chance

Isidore Electronics Recycling, a recycling company and social enterprise, believes in giving e-trash a second chance. They have been creating jobs for incarcerated people, while at the same time trying to reduce the amount of e-trash that is increasingly going to the landfill (15% of waste is electronics, but 75% of the toxics produced in the landfill are from electronics). Their mission is “to save the planet and give back to society at the same time”

For more information about this company and what they do, click this link.