With participants walking and using transport to get to most venues, World Youth Day will be the lowest polluting major event per capita ever hosted in Sydney, WYD coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher says.
Zenit quotes Bishop Fisher of Sydney as saying that the organisers have been acutely aware that hosting such a big event "has its own ecological challenges."
He said experts have been advising event organisers "from the start" on minimising risks to the environment and, "if anything, leave the environment better off at the end."
It will be more environmentally friendly than any other event Sydney has hosted because pilgrims are mainly walking from venue to venue, and taking public transport.
Pilgrims around Australia also have been involved in a huge tree planting program that will be a carbon offset for those traveling to Australia by plane.
World Youth Day '08 airline partner Qantas also provided a carbon offset program for the pilgrims using the national airline.
"We have dedicated cleaning and waste management strategies to maximise the recycling and we have used, throughout, the minimum packaging that can either be kept or re-used," Bishop Fisher said.
He explained the pilgrims have also been given a three minute timer so they keep their showers brief to minimise water use, and that the flashlights in the pilgrim packs have reusable batteries so they "don't end up being thrown out."
"Pilgrims spent much of the time walking or on public transport, which means they're not in cars polluting the environment," he said. "On a per capita basis this group will be far and away the lowest polluting crowd for an event in Sydney.
"They're using the very minimum of energy and are maximising the use of recyclable and biodegradable products."
World Youth Day Goes Green (Zenit, 15/7/08)