Your Green Life: "Duluth Zoo Green Challenge"

By KBJR News 1

July 11, 2013 Updated Jul 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Lake Superior Zoo has challenged their employees to be more green outside of the zoo. Anya Russom, who works in guest services, has been participating in all the challenges and says its really helped her find new ways to be green.

"We have a lot of green sustainability initiatives around here at the zoo but on a personal level its easy to let things kind of slip by the way side so the challenges help to keep us thinking about new ways that we can green our lives" says Russom.

Six months and six challenges so far. But Russom is looking forward to this month's challenge.

"Well this one I'm actually really excited about, the one for this month we have to make and share some kind of food with people but it has to have minimal food waste." said Russom.

There are also incentives to the employees that complete the challenge.
"Are there rewards?" I ask,

Russom replies, "Yes there is a prize every time"

So I ask her, "So what kind of prizes are you guys getting?"

"Well I wouldn't know because I haven't won yet haha" She replies.

But Russom hopes to change that with this months challenge and she already knows how she will beat the competition.

"I was thinking maybe cupcakes or something." Russom states.

With the success of the green challenge, the Zoo hopes to be a model for others to start green challenges at their place of work.

Russom tells me, "I think that any business should give it a shot, this year we have really amped up our sustainable initiatives and our green ways of thinking and acting at the zoo."

Participation in the challenges have more than doubled since it started.
And with good response from the participants, the challenge may just continue into 20–14.

Samantha Avery, Senior Guest Services said, "Our last challenge will be for the zoo employees to come up with different challenges that can be used for next year and then see where we can go from there"

All the prizes the participants receive are local or sustainable including things like gift cards to local restaurants, to seeds for a garden, and more.

Meteorologist Adam Lorch