The Green Team is committed to developing and improving green initiatives in the Zoo’s daily operations and to raising conservation awareness among staff as well as guests. The Green Team’s efforts are focused on a variety of areas:
- Water and Energy Conservation – In 2007, the Zoo installed 58 low-flow toilets on grounds. Offices use motion-activated light switches and staff are encouraged to use the power-saving settings on their computer equipment.
- Recycling – The Zoo recycles an average of 72,000 pounds of paper, newspaper, plastic, and metal each year. Ink cartridges, computer components, light bulbs, batteries, vehicle and equipment parts are also recycled. Most recently, the Zoo entered a partnership with Eco-Cell to collect and recycle cell phones. Collection bins for plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and Zoo maps are highly visible for guests throughout Zoo grounds.
- Resource Management – The Maintenance Department conducts periodic surplus sales of unwanted items to reduce waste. The Nutrition Center now uses washable containers instead of disposable plastic bags to distribute diets. Staff are encouraged to bring their own reusable cups and dinnerware, and some bring zero waste lunches.
- Compost – One of the Horticulturists collects plant debris from grounds and food scraps from Riverview Restaurant and the Nutrition Center to mix compost for her landscaping section.
- Green Products – The Zoo’s janitorial service utilizes only green cleaning products, while the Nutrition Center provides green alternative products such as Peroxyclean as much as possible. Office staff use recycled or refillable ink cartridges.
- Education and Awareness – The Green Team maintains a bulletin board to educate staff on green issues and contributes articles to the Zoo’s magazine and e-newsletter publications. The Team uses events such as Earth Day to raise public awareness about conservation and the environment.