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Sustainable Solutions At The Milwaukee County Zoo!

In keeping with its Mission Statement, the Milwaukee County Zoo is "walking the walk" when it comes to sustainability. The Zoo aims to inspire public understanding, support and participation in global conservation of animal species and their environment by creating a unifying bond between our visitors and the living earth; this includes putting sustainability front and center in our daily operations.

Protecting animal biodiversity is dependent on preserving a healthy environment in which animals can thrive. In order to contribute to worldwide animal management and conservation efforts, the Zoo is constantly adjusting its practices and updating its facilities in order to be more efficient and environmentally-friendly. Read on to discover some of the steps we have taken so far toward creating a healthier planet.

Zoo Green Committee

Since 2008, the Zoo's Green Committee - consisting of staff in animal care, administration and operational areas, together with Zoo Pride volunteers and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee - has implemented numerous recycling programs and conservation-minded projects. The Green Committee's mission is to identify, advance and promote policies and practices that minimize negative impact and maximize environmental benefits, through comprehensive input and collaboration from all Zoo areas.

The Zoo adheres to the tenets of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle in many different areas.

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The Zoo is implementing a Clean Energy Plan that aims to reduce consumption of electricity by 20%, natural gas by 20% and water by 30% by 2020. Learn More

The Zoo reuses as many items as possible throughout its grounds and administration areas, including many that are repurposed as enrichment items for the animals. Learn More

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The Zoo participates in numerous recycling efforts, including the addition of 150 Pepsi recycling bins located throughout the grounds, and also recycles old cell phones and other electronics. Learn More

The Zoo's ample green space and park-like grounds help to reduce storm water runoff and create a beautiful, natural space for the Zoo's animals and visitors alike! Learn More

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In partnership with Blue Ribbon Organics, all waste from the Zoo's herbivorous (plant eating) animals is now composted! This averages about 11 tons per week or 550 tons per year! Learn More

The Zoo is joining the local food movement with the addition of three Animal Enrichment Gardens, where fresh produce is grown on-site for the animals! Learn More

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The Zoo now uses plant-based, biodegradable PLA plastic cups and single-utensil dispensers in its concessions areas, and has also eliminated Styrofoam products and bleached napkins. Learn More

The Zoo received the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District's Green Luminary Award in 2015, the Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful IDEAL Education Award in 2016, and has also earned "Travel Green" certification from Travel Wisconsin. Learn More

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