It’s officially the holiday season and that means the time for giving! There’s so much going on this time of year it’s easy to forget to make greener choices which help wildlife and wild spaces. Here are some tips which help zoos, aquariums, and wildlife even after the Christmas season is over:
- Memberships: Why not give the gift of a zoo membership this year?! Most zoos have individual or family memberships which allow you to go the whole season! There are usually member only events and specials discounts throughout the year as well.
- Zoo Trip: Give the gift of a trip to a zoo or aquarium near you! An exciting trip for kids, a fun date idea, or a great afternoon with friends. Awesome gift for those who don’t need anything…give them an event to look forward to instead!
- Adopt-an-animal: Many zoos, aquariums, and organizations have adopt an animal programs. These allow you to symbolically adopt or sponsor either an animal in the zoo or a wild species. Money goes towards feeding, vet care, or enrichment for zoo animals and is a great way to connect with the animals you’re seeing. Organizations such as WWF and CWF have programs where money goes towards initiatives to keep animals safe in the wild.
- Buy Smart: If the above aren’t what you’re looking for you can still make choices which are better for animals and the environment. When you can buy local, hand made, or repurposed products. Choose products with less packaging and more environmentally friendly components.
What if you’ve already purchased all your gifts? There are still ways you can make better choices!
- An added gift: Instead of wrapping presents, use a reusable bag or box that the receiver can use afterwards.
- Recycle: Use old newspapers or comics to wrap presents, most wrapping paper cannot be recycled.
- Scavenger Hunt: If presents are hidden for a scavenger hunt, no wrapping paper is necessary!
What happens if you’re reading this post AFTER the holidays?
- Donate: Anyone get new bedding, towels, or clothes for Christmas? Donate the old ones to a zoo or aquarium near you! Many welcome donations for bedding, keeping orphaned newborns comfortable, and enrichment items (the apes especially love them!).
- Recycle: Electronics are usually hot items for the holidays…what to do with the old? Recycle! Many zoos have cell phone recycling programs to benefit gorillas in the wild.
These are only a few options on how to make your Christmas more environmentally friendly. Even if you implement just one of these tips you will be helping wildlife and the environments they live in.