Try out reusable straws
There are lots of alternatives to single-use plastic straws - steel, glass, bamboo, reusable plastic and paper are all routes that can be taken on the way to a cleaner environment. Metal and silicone reusable straws are available for purchase at Blank Park Zoo’s Wild Things Gift Shop.
Reusable coffee cups and water bottles
By bringing a reusable coffee cup or water bottle you are reducing plastic waste as well as water waste. #DYK the process of producing bottled water requires around 6 times as much water per bottle as there is in the container?
Skip the bag
Bring reusable grocery bags with you when you head to the store. Forget your bag? Don’t worry - you can recycle your plastic bags at local grocery stores around the Des Moines area. Just bag them up and drop them off.
Reusable containers and baggies
Reusable containers are a great choice for leftovers and those that choose to bring lunch. Stasher bags are a great alternative to plastic baggies.
Avoid packaging - buy in bulk
Did you know that you can bring your own containers and refill them for items such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, spices, etc? Locally visit The Collective, Campbell's Nutrition, Gateway Market, Whole Foods, Eden, select Hy Vee locations.
We have partnered with ECO-CELL and are collecting old cell phones and electronics to be recycled to reduce the need to mine coltan. This in turn helps to save gorillas in the wild! Coltan is a critical component of cell phones and 80% of the world’s supply is found in the Congo-right in the middle of gorilla habitat. Drop off your old cell phones, tablets and other electronics to Admissions during regular business hours.
Learn what’s recyclable - visit Metro Waste online or schedule an in-person tour of their new state of the art Metro Recycling Facility located in Grimes.
Still have a lot you cannot recycle? Check out Terracycle. They have item specific recycling programs and zero-waste boxes. The Zoo is involved with a number of their programs but are big fans of their single-use glove recycling program. This allows the Zoo to recycle a frequently used item that would otherwise end up in the landfill.