Sustainability is important to many people, as reducing global climate change is one of today’s most pertinent issues. Although individual action, such as recycling or driving electric vehicles, helps, other industries need to change too. Zoos and animal sanctuaries are one unconventional starting point. Here are some ways to improve sustainability at the zoo to help curb climate change.
Install Recycling Receptacles
One of the most obvious transitions into sustainable zoo practices is to install recycling receptacles around the facilities. Zoos and animal sanctuaries see foot traffic daily. Therefore, it’s important to install alternative trash receptacles to encourage greener behaviors among guests. Rather than use a general recycling unit, you can even install specific recycling receptacles for glass, aluminum, paper, and other plastics in addition to standard waste receptacles.
Use Plastic Lumber for Animal Enclosures
Not many people realize that plastic lumber is ideal for zoo enclosures. It’s strong, adaptable, and, more importantly, eco-friendly. Although it’s a relatively new construction material, plastic lumber is one of the strongest, most versatile materials used today. There’s no application too large or small for it, including zoos and animal enclosures. HDPE plastic lumber withstands animal bumps, scratches, or bites without breakage. Further, it does not decay against water or dirt. Plastic lumber lasts a long time through various environmental conditions without warping, splintering, or cracking.
Refillable Water Stations
Many times, zoos see the most foot traffic in the summer while more people are on break and children are out of school. This is also during the warmer months of the year. Therefore, water and hydration are incredibly important for zoos, yet empty water bottles and plastic containers are some of the most commonly littered items around the facility. Now you can boost merchandise sales and reduce litter with refillable water stations. Sell reusable water bottles at the gift shop to increase sales. Then, visitors will refill these around the park instead of leaving behind disposable bottles.
Lastly, one major way to improve sustainability at the zoo is through solar power energy. Solar-powered buildings don’t use nearly as much energy as conventional coal-powered electricity. Zoos are some of the best places to use solar energy too. Given that most of the buildings require vast amounts of energy to shelter animals, solar panels save more time, energy, and money than traditional methods.