Week Six: Zoo Sustainability

Hello! Sorry for such a late post for this (now last) week, but things have been very busy between this internship and my paying job. This week’s overarching theme had to be sustainability. The Zoo’s own sustainability manager came in to give us a talk about the Zoo’s efforts towards waste reduction and thinking towards the future. There are so many ideas out there! Many companies are doing research to try and emulate nature’s way of doing things to make our own systems better, such as using butterfly wings as a model for the position of solar panels (when they are tilted, it traps more heat). Besides this high tech research, though, there is so much the common person can do! Even just recycling a bottle instead of throwing it away can have an impact, or turning up the thermostat a couple of degrees in the summer. People often think that what they do doesn’t matter, but it is the collective effort of many individuals that makes all the difference. The Zoo knows and recognizes this in its Kids’ Zoo, which has an entire gallery dedicated to sustainable thinking and recycling.

These types of education programs are so important, especially in our culture of thinking in the now rather than ten years from now. Our efforts are helping to teach a new generation of people about the impact they can have, and give them simple tools and options to achieve greener living. It is really rewarding to be a part of that, and just being in the area and hearing the Sustainability Manager’s presentation has made me much more conscious of what I am consuming and putting back into the world. I will forever be aware of palm oil, and will strive to be conscious of the companies I buy and whether or not their practices are sustainable. For the common consumer, being more sustainable can really be as simple as arming yourself with the knowledge of an informed consumer that knows what they are buying and where it came from.

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