Your Green Life: "Animals Going Green"

By KBJR News 1

March 14, 2013 Updated Mar 14, 2013 at 7:29 AM CST

Duluth, MN
The Lake Superior Zoo is now taking their strive for sustainability to their employees. They set up a series of green challenges with rewards after each completed challenge.

Samantha Avery, the Senior Guest Services Representative of the Zoo said, "Once they do the challenge they get their name up on the board, and it's kind of like an ecosystem where you start out as a worm and you work your way up to eventually we are going to be super green team hero's."

The first challenge was to collect pop–tops and recycle them.
Those that participate are entered in a drawing for a locally made prize.

"The second challenge was to recycle as many cardboard tubs from their toilet paper or toweling that we could and we ended up doing 88 and what we do is we make them into bird enrichment, as you can see here. These are what these are. So the birds actually help us recycle." said Avery.

"So you actually use these in the zoo?" I ask.

"Yeah!" Avery says.

Even the animals are doing their part to be green.

Sarah Wilcox, the Director of Education at the Zoo said "It's fun to find ways that we can reuse stuff for our animals such as the bird enrichment, our paper towel tubs can be decorated and then given to our parrots who like to shred them apart as a fun time for them."

While the animals are enjoying the fruits of the green challenge it's the employees that learn the best lesson of all.

"Encouraging our staff to take these steps and figure out how to get into the habit of doing some of these things will hopefully stick with them and then they can educate other people, visitors to the zoo, people in their lives about what they are doing." said Wilcox

There will be a new addition to the annual Easter Egg Hunt at the zoo this year. There will no longer be plastic eggs, instead they are being replaced by a more organic and locally produced egg case.

Meteorologist Adam Lorch