The Blank Park Zoo’s Green Team is dedicated to reducing the impact the Zoo’s daily operations has on the environment, educating guests to do their part in helping the planet, and saving the Zoo money through onsite conservation efforts.
In 2014, Blank Park Zoo was awarded the Environmental Impact Award. This award was presented by Metro Waste Authority, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Des Moines Water Works, and the Center on Sustainable Communities. This award honors businesses and civic groups who continually demonstrate environmentally sustainable practices.
The Green Team focuses on the following conservation areas of impact around the zoo;
A water bottle filling station can be found in the Discovery Center.
We provide reusable water bottles in the gift shop for guest to purchase.
Rain barrels are placed around the zoo to capture rain water to be used on zoo grounds.
Replacement of light bulbs from standard to LED.
Energy star appliances are used around the zoo; Drink machines, dish washers, refrigerators.
Black out Mondays are implemented during the summer in the zoo administration offices.
Recycle - receptacles for cans, glass, and paper are available throughout the zoo
Eco-Cell – hand held electronic device recycling program
Reuse - Animal Care areas reuse feed bags as trash bags in their areas
Reduce – Reusable plates/utensils/glasses are provided to zoo staff and used during catered events
Did you know the Blank Park Zoo recycles tons of its trash each year with worms? Click here to find out how you can recycle your trash with your very own worm bin.
Blank Park Zoo is a proud partner of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, aiding consumers in making seafood choices to ensure healthy oceans.
Our oceans, although vast, are falling victim to many environmental threats and as Seafood Watch reports, there are not, in fact, plenty of fish in the sea. The wild fish populations are well below natural levels. Overfishing, illegal fishing, and habitat damage caused by irresponsible fishing practices are just a few of the issues keeping populations low and unable to recover.
Aquaculture, or farm fishing, would appear to be an easy solution to supplement our ever-increasing demand for seafood. As with our oceans, however, things are not always as they appear. Although half of our seafood comes from farms, it raises new issues that must be taken into consideration. Seafood Watch measures the ecological impact of such farms as dependent upon the species, farm location, and process of raising while identifying sustainable farms as those limiting habitat damage, preventing the spread of disease and non-native species, and minimizing wild fish used as feed.
The issues are complex and often varying for each species. Seafood Watch, however, has taken all the guess work out of making our seafood choices work to improve rather than worsen our oceans’ conditions. The recommendations include seafood items that are the “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and those to “Avoid.” So, the next time you are at the grocery store or at a restaurant, make ocean-friendly seafood choices and use your purchase power to make a difference!
You can pick up your pocket-sized guide at Blank Park Zoo or download it on your mobile device today!