EcoTrack 11: Learning to be 'green' from the zoo

TOLEDO -- The Toledo Zoo is a great place to have fun and learn about nature. But did you know it is also one of the biggest recycling and conserving partners in Toledo?

News 11 Meteorologist James Canterbury shows us how in this EcoTrack 11 report.

Even the zoo's front offices are in concert with the environment. In 2007 alone, they recycled more than 8.5 tons of printer paper. What they don't recycle, they shred and place in animal exhibits as bedding.

The zoo is also big on smaller energy bills. Marketing Manager Andi Norman says, "We are very environmentally conscious when it comes to our lighting, and we're moving toward all the incandescent lights. All the energy efficient lights. All the old light bulbs, we recycle all those."

The zoo also puts donated firehoses to good use. The chimps and orangatans get great exercise swinging and climbing, and the visitors enjoy seeing the animals being active.

Volunteers also create animal shapes from recycled cardboard to get the attention of some very big cats. Norman explains, "The keepers then put the animal's food in the cardboard animals, put them around their exhibits. So the animals have to search for their food. It will hopefully bring out some natural behaviors of the animals."

The largest eco-project at the zoo is something you can do at home...composting. But they do it to a grander scale. "We take all of our on-ground waste...our grass clippings, our edgings, our old annuals...and the key ingredient -- elephant manure. We turn it all into compost."

There are many other ways the Toledo Zoo tries to stay green year round'.

To learn how you can impliment conservation at home, check out the EcoTrack 11 portion of our website called What You Can Do at Home.

Posted by LS