Meet the Calgary Zoo's Green Team
As a conservation organization, we are a responsible steward of the environment and a non-profit charity aspiring to take a leading role in green practices to further the zoo’s mission and vision. All staff members are part of the Green Team and are encouraged to take actions to be more sustainable each and every day.
To coordinate the efforts for Green Team, we created a Green Team Council which launched in 2015 with the mandate to celebrate the current green and sustainable practices, champion new initiatives and move the zoo in a positive direction for sustainable operations.
In 2016, we worked hard to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Our long-term goal is to increase recycling and compost rates, which translates into measurable benefits including waste reduction, energy savings and natural resource conservation. In one year since launching the three-stream bins, the zoo is pleased to report that it has reduced its waste by 50%. That's the weight of 87 giraffes!
You’ll be hearing more from the Calgary Zoo’s Green Team on social media, our website and from our staff members as we focus on building an engaging conservation and sustainable culture internally, and continue to educate our zoo community on our existing green initiatives!
Introducing composting & recycling for all visitors
Launched on Earth Day, April 22, 2016, guests are encouraged to compost and recycle while visiting the zoo. These bins are installed throughout the grounds, complete with new signage to point what items go where. Have a question about our new three-stream bins? Check out our handy guide What Goes Where (PDF – 591K) and read our latest news release on our one-year anniversary since launching the bins.
Current Green Practices
Waste Management & Recycling
At the Calgary Zoo, we participate in green initiatives locally and abroad. Here are some of the things we do to keep our planet green:
We've placed new three-stream garbage bins around the zoo grounds and in major food service areas to make recycling and composting easier for zoo lovers. Less waste!
At the Wildlife Conservation Centre, we reuse recycled signage to create visual barriers between animal habitats. We also recycle all the boxes and packaging that gets sent our way.
Paper & Ink
Each year during our summer programs, at least one craft per week is made from recycled materials from the zoo — most of which are used for animal enrichment.
The zoo purchases clothing and props for theatre productions from second-hand thrift stores.
Our gift shop runs on penguin power! Well, not exactly. The waste energy generated from the Penguin Plunge support system heats the nearby gift shop.
We participate in a cell phone-recycling program that helps protect gorillas and their natural habitat.
We often repurpose fallen trees, tree branches and bulbs for animal enrichment.
We've adopted composting initiatives across the zoo. With available dumpsters for food leftovers and biodegradable packaging and containers available at food service areas, we're committed to staying green — we even compost animal poo!
All food containers housed in our food services areas are compostable including napkins, plates and take-out containers.