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Why Tokyo Deserves a Medal for Sustainability


The Tokyo 2020 Medal Project: Sustainable Olympic Medals

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games are just around the corner! Between construction, planning and preparation, there’s a lot to be done to set up the exciting event. And with so much to do, sustainability doesn’t always take priority. But this year, Tokyo is changing that trend with a new, more sustainable way to create the iconic medals for the event.

From April 2017 through March 2019, Tokyo initiated the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project and collected nearly 80,000 tons of used electronics, including phones and other small electronic devices. More than 1600 municipalities around Japan participated in this event to make sustainable medals for both the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. Thanks to the large amount of donations, a full 100% of the metal used to make the medals was taken from these materials. Donated items yielded approximately:

  • 71 pounds of gold
  • 7,700 pounds of silver
  • 4,850 pounds of bronze

All of this helped make the nearly 5,000 medals that will be awarded. This idea and the resulting project were based on establishing a theme of resourcefulness for the games, one that Tokyo has adhered to throughout its planning and preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Unveiled last July, the medals were designed by Junichi Kawanishi, a graphic designer from Osaka. Get ready to see them shine this summer!

comment_2What does the theme of resourcefulness mean to you? Let us know in the comments! And remember, if you’re not a Norwex Movement member, we’d love for you to join us today! Together, we’re learning to reduce harmful chemicals in our homes through small, conscious choices that help our families and our world.


Do you think recycled medals should be a new trend for the Olympics?

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Kim Metzger
Kim Metzger
4 years ago

Resourcefulness means more repurposing then recycling to me.

4 years ago

Resourcefulness to me means using what has already been produced instead of producing more. It also means using what is at hand instead of producing more. Example: I am being resourceful using the UPP as a multipurpose cleaner and not just to do laundry.

Deanna Hofmeister
Deanna Hofmeister
4 years ago

Recycle, yes!