Here’s how you can join Audubon in making sustainable choices that help animals and our environment – NOLA.com
This article is brought to you by Audubon Nature Institute.
Audubon Nature Institute is enhancing its role as a community leader in sustainability by making its facilities more environmentally friendly and encouraging others to do the same.
Through a partnership with Pepsi, the Institute recently received 18 new combination trash and recycling bins for Audubon Zoo. The recycling side has bright colors and clear markings, and will accept plastic bottles and aluminum cans. These are in addition to recycling bins shaped like Pepsi soda bottles at the Aquarium and ones in employee areas.
Gorillas On The Line Cell Phone Donation Box Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Wednesday, March 4, 2020
In addition, citizens can drop off unwanted cell phones and tablets at the Audubon Zoo front gate during public hours, with no purchase or admission required. By recycling these devices, the hope is that there will be reduced demand for coltan, a mineral found in batteries of electronic devices, thus leading to less destruction of gorilla habitats in central Africa because of coltan mining operations.
John Fallon, Audubon Nature Institute’s Director of Sustainability and Coastal Conservation Initiatives, said the Institute has eliminated plastic bags, utensils and beverage bottles from its concessions and retail outlets, replacing them with compostable and recyclable materials. The Institute is also moving to sustainable lighting and has updated to LED lights in Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Zoo Administration Building, Zoo parking lot, Audubon Park and Clubhouse parking lot, and Audubon Riverview.
“We’re constantly working to make our business operations more sustainable and environmentally friendly,” Fallon said. “We find ways to offset increased costs of offering more sustainable materials, like bamboo rather than plastic utensils, and some sustainability initiatives, like upgraded lighting, actually help us save on operating costs in the long run. We also have behind-the-scenes efforts. For example, Audubon’s Purchasing Policy has a section on Green Procurement to keep our business practices as environmentally-friendly as possible, and we compost waste from many of our animals to make fertilizer. Guests won’t see these steps during a visit, but they are an important part of the Audubon team’s commitment to living our mission.”
As a leading educational resource on conservation and environmental issues, the Institute is also spreading the word on how individuals and families can lead more sustainable lifestyles. Some easy steps include:
- Buy used, buy local. This reduces manufacturing and shipping impacts on the environment.
- Reduce and reuse. Find ways to buy and use fewer new items. Replace disposables with reusable alternatives. Some common disposable items that can be swapped for sustainable options include shopping bags, water bottles, straws, lunch packing supplies, coffee pods, rags/cloths and bath products.
- Be an environmentally-savvy shopper. Research brands and read labels to choose eco-friendly food, cleaning supplies and cosmetics. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping app will show brands that are certified orangutan-friendly and the Smithsonian National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute has an online guide to Bird Friendly® certified coffee.
- Start composting at home. …….