What You Can Do
Living Green means finding ways to reduce your own negative impact on the environment and increase your positive impact. It means helping to conserve resources and preserve our world for future generations. It's looking for ways to share the world with everything including the plants and animals. It means being a better neighbor in the natural world.
It's not easy being green, but it is possible. In terms of trash it means creating less waste and recycling more. The Phoenix Zoo strives to be a leader in Living Green. Look here to see what we're doing and what YOU can do to be a better neighbor by Living Green.
Did you know…?
- In 2001, U.S. residents, businesses, and institutions produced more than 229 million tons of MSW, which is approximately 4.4 pounds of waste per person per day, up from 2.7 pounds per person per day in 1960.
- Americans use an estimated 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, of which only a small portion gets recycled.*
- Americans throw away enough office paper each year to create a small wall 12' high that reaches from Los Angeles to New York City.*
But did you also know…?
- Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4, 000 kilowatts of energy and 7, 000 gallons of water. Hooray for recycling!
- By turning your central heating thermostat only one degree, your fuel consumption can be cut as much as 10 percent.
- The sun provides enough energy in one single minute to supply the entire world's energy needs for one year.*
- If four people in a family shower each day for five minutes, in one week they would use 700 gallons of water. This is enough for one person to live off of for three years.*
- Recycling is about conserving and protecting the environment for a better tomorrow for our children's children and all the creatures that live on it. Everything we do or don't do makes a difference – no matter how big or small. Even if we change only one thing we do, it still counts.
Easy Conservation Tips
Reduce and Reuse
- Bring reusable bags to the grocery store instead of using new plastic or paper bags.
- When you can, purchase things in bulk and with minimal packaging.
- Find ways to reuse containers (ex. Storage, art projects).
- Reduce your water and electricity usage in your home
- Use reusable containers to pack lunches instead of plastic ziplock bags.
- Shop locally. Buy food and products in your community to reduce pollution caused by shipping products by truck, ship or plane and build economy in your community.
- Find out what your city will accept.
- Donate old clothing, furniture and toys to charity.
- Compost the materials that you can.
- Cell Phones and Printer Cartridges- Drop off your old cell phone and used printer cartridges at the admissions booth and the Zoo will receive money for our conservation efforts.
- Most recyclable items are used on a daily basis: paper, glass, aluminum and cardboard and can all be added to the recycle bin instead of the trash can.
- Purchase products that you know are made by Green companies.
- Try solar power. The panels pay for themselves in ten to fifteen years and have an operating life of 25 years or more, and can include regulatory and financial incentives depending on the region.*
Support Conservation and Environmental Organizations
- See Resources for a list of local and national organizations.
Reach out into your community
- Organize a clean up day.
- If you live in a neighborhood that isn't required to recycle, make sure your neighbors know how and where to recycle.
- Contact your local Waste Management Facility Hotline to find out local recyclable drop off sites.
- Set a positive example for your friends and family.
- Ride Share – start carpools with co-workers or parents for school and activities.
* Source: One Makes the Difference – by Julia Butterfly Hill, 2002
More Recycling Facts
- Every ton of recycled paper saves almost 400 gallons of oil.* That should help bring gas prices down.
- You could operate a television set for an estimated three hours with the energy saved by recycling one aluminum can.*
- Americans discard enough steel and iron to continuously supply all of the country's automakers.*
- If you recycle soda cans, the energy used, and air pollution created, is 95 % less than if the cans were produced from raw materials.*
- By recycling all of your newspapers for only one year, you could save an estimated 4 trees and 2, 200 gallons of water and stop 15 pounds of pollutants from entering our air.*
* "One Makes the Difference" by Julia Butterfly Hill, 2002
Household Paper Product Alternatives
Natural Resources Defense Council
1612 K Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20006
P.O. Box 29344
San Francisco, CA 94129
World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
Earth Island Institute
300 Broadway, Suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133
Rainforest Action Network
221 Pine Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94104
Monterrey Bay Aquarium