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Category — Living Green

Greenest Restaurant in America!

How about that!  Greenest restaurant in America!  In fact, when the Green Restaurant Association took a look at our new Base Camp Café, the Cincinnati Zoo scored the highest sustainability rating of any restaurant EVER!  We’re composting and getting out of the landfill.  We’re serving fresher, local foods.  And we’re working toward a monster goal of having our zoo visitors eat as well as our animals!

And it’s not just our restaurant . . .

Over the past 7 years the Cincinnati Zoo has become nationally known as “The Greenest Zoo in America.”  And this isn’t just a branding campaign or a marketing plan, we have the data to back it up.  The Cincinnati Zoo uses 1/3 the water we used in 2006, when we began our big sustainability push.  And though we have added 25% more buildings, animal exhibits, and facilities since then, we use LESS electricity and natural gas than we did back then.  And it’s important to note that we didn’t accomplish this by blowing money on big new systems.  In fact, part of why our “Go Green” program is so effective is that we actually save a fortune through our sustainability programs.  That way, we can invest those utility savings in upkeep and improving the zoo – for both our animals and our visitors.

The Way Forward

Of course, it’s not about winning awards or recognition.  The Cincinnati Zoo models effective ways to “Go Green” because it is good for our community and good for our world, as well as our bottom line.  The big challenges that both wildlife and people face in the 21st Century are not going to be solved top-down.  There is no magic wand that the World Wildlife Fund or the EPA can wave to save the world.  Even huge problems like habitat loss and climate change will only be solved by hundreds of millions of better, more informed, decisions being made every day across America.  Today the US leads the world in consumption.  We can also lead the way in going green.

Come over to the Cincinnati Zoo and we’ll show you how.

June 7, 2013   4 Comments

Celebrate the Earth: It’s a party for the planet!

April is Earth Month, and while we encourage our community to be earth-friendly all year round, we’ll take the opportunity to really drive the message home during our 4th annual “Party for the Planet” this Thursday, April 18. It’s a celebration of the Earth, and a festival for all things “green” in Cincinnati. Businesses and organizations from around the regions will be on hand at the Greenest Zoo in America to share their expertise and resources about living more sustainability within our communities. Topics include solar energy, composting, recycling, energy efficiency, green building, rain gardens/barrels, sustainable food, green products, and many more.

In addition to learning ways to go green, also visit the Go Green Garden for the Rain Barrel Painting Event, hosted by the Cincinnati Zoo, Save Local Waters and the Regional Stormwater Collaborative. Rain barrels are an easy and inexpensive way to conserve water and save money, and for homeowners to take one small action that collectively will have a major impact on our local environment. Local artists have done their part to motivate area homeowners to save rainwater in dazzling beautiful rain barrels. The typical dull green or drab rain barrel has been revamped into a creative and colorful accent piece that will make any homeowner proud to use in their landscaping. Participate in the People’s Choice Award and vote for your favorite painted rain barrel online. Guests will be able to bid on their favorite barrels for purchase during a silent auction from 6:30-8pm.

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Cohen, the official electronics recycling partner of the Cincinnati Zoo, is sponsoring an e-waste collection event during Party for the Planet. Recycle your unwanted e-waste with the Zoo’s certified e-waste recycler, where your electronics will be recycled in a responsible way and all data storage devices cleared properly. For every item donated, Cohen will make a donation to the Zoo’s Project Saving Species.

A convenient drive through drop-off will be set up in the Zoo’s parking lot on the corner of Erkenbrecher and Vine Street. Guests can drop off their items between 4 and 8pm before heading into the Zoo to enjoy Tunes & Blooms and Party for the Planet! Acceptable items include: personal computers, keyboards, servers, mice, routers, wires, switches, laptops, modems, rechargeable batteries, telephones, small home appliances, docking stations, printers, LCD screens, cell phones, fax machines, copiers, speakers, cable/satellite boxes, CRT monitors, TVs, stereos/VCRs, and remotes. A $10 cash fee will be charged for each CRT monitor and TV (27″ or under) collected. TVs larger than 27” will be charged $20 cash.

To learn more about Cohen and the electronics recycling programs, visit cohenusa.com

Party for the Planet takes place during Tunes & Blooms, a weekly concert Thursdays in April, featuring local musicians. This Thursday Shiny & the Spoon and Shiny Old Soul will be performing. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful tulips and other spring flowers the Zoo has planted, listen to some great, local music, learn about ways to go green, and enjoy the spring evening with your family and friends. And, enjoy Zoo Blooms all around.

The Party occurs from 4-8:30pm and is free with Zoo admission. Admission to the Zoo is FREE after 5pm and parking is $8

April 15, 2013   No Comments

Calling All Artists!

The Regional Stormwater Collaborative and the Cincinnati Zoo have teamed up for one exciting event – “Saving Rain for a Sunny Day” – an Ohio River Valley rain barrel painting event. Both the Regional Stormwater Collaborative and the Cincinnati Zoo are dedicated to reducing the amount of stormwater runoff that occurs in our cities, and to conserving as much water as we can. One easy way any homeowner can join us in saving water is through the use of rain barrels. Rain barrels are an easy attachment to your gutter and downspout. Using a rain barrel can save more than 1,000 gallons of water over a single summer. Collecting rain water in a barrel cuts down on the amount of rain that washes into streams, rivers, and sewers. By doing so, it prevents flooding, erosion, and pollution. The water captured in your barrel can be used to water lawns and gardens, reducing overall water consumption. It is an inexpensive and low maintenance way to conserve water and recue rain water runoff.

Rain barrels continue to grow in popularity across the country; however, one drawback can be their dull appearance. Some people are less likely to use them given their negative aesthetic impact to residential and commercial landscaping, even though they conserve water and save money. It is our hope that producing beautiful artistic rain barrels will make them more desirable and naturally increase interest to promote their usage.

Painted Rain Barrel by Sandra Federman

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December 17, 2012   2 Comments