Zoos have long been proponents of green initiatives from recycling cell phones to converting elephant dung to biogas to fuel gas-powered engines, which generate electricity.
The latest green initiative in the news for zoos is a Houston Zoo program, which is simple, but significant. The Houston Zoo has eliminated the use of plastic bags in its retail gift shops in favor of canvas bags.
A new partnership with Service Systems Associates will prevent as many as 80,000 plastic bags from entering landfills. A pilot program launched in July was deemed so succesfull that the Zoo decided to implement the program permanently. They have decorated the plastic bags with animal prints to beautify the canvas bags and hope that the program will be a model for other businesses going green.