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Information about the green strategies being implemented by, and the environmental responsibilities of the Edmonton Valley Zoo.

The Edmonton Valley Zoo team is also passionate about the natural world and promoting environmental responsibility. The zoo models green strategies in all it does to promote environment responsibility and reduce its own environmental footprint.

How We Conserve

Water Conservation

The Edmonton Valley Zoo practices efficient water use with the following practices and technology:

  • Capture and treat storm water on site to use in aquatic animal habitats
  • Encourage filling reusable water bottles with filtered water from the public water station
  • Plant native plants that are drought resistant
  • Use 40% less potable water than conventional fixtures in our gift shop, café and education centre
  • Save more than 400,000 liters of water each year using low-flow water fixtures in the Wander Trail

In our Office

Around the office a few simple steps can go a long way, so in our office we:

  • Skip printing wherever possible to save ink and paper
  • Ensure all paper is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council
  • Partner with TerraCycle to reuse plastic waste items, such as cereal and coffee bag liners
  • Encourage visitors to safely recycle batteries in our collection box

Energy Conservation

The zoo has implemented a number of green energy choices in the way we commute and operate.

  • There are over 50 bicycle parking spaces at the Wander. Reduce your carbon footprint and ride your bike the next time you visit the zoo.
  • When it comes to building, low emitting materials and technology like occupancy and temperature sensors, perimeter heating and heat recovery reduce energy use.
  • The zoo minimizes light pollution by using smart light sensors, outdoor LEDs, photocell sensors, and up-light cut-off shields that save energy.

Green Strategies

Building Green

Consistent with Edmonton's vision to build sustainable infrastructure, projects at the
Edmonton Valley Zoo will be models of environmental responsibility.

All new buildings will take advantage of natural light and air ventilation and incorporate features that harness green technologies to leave a smaller ecological footprint on the natural systems and wild places that the zoo is working so hard to conserve.

Arctic Shores

The Arctic Shores exhibit is home to animals of the sea. The exhibit opened in 2012. It features state of the art environmentally friendly practices, and technology.

  • Storm water is captured and reused
  • A featured green roof reduces the volume of water run-off
  • Pool water is filtered naturally by plant materials in working wetlands and reused
  • Pine-beetle kill wood was used in building construction
  • Landscape plantings are drought tolerant

The Wander Trail and Ed-Venture Lodge

The Wander and Ed-Venture Lodge opened in late 2013. This area is a LEED® Silver candidate project with the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC).

One of the highlights of the Wander and Ed-Venture Lodge are that over 20% of the materials used to build the gift shop, café and education centre buildings contain recycled content and were regionally sourced. Additionally, over 50% of the wood used on this exhibit was harvested from sustainably managed forests that promote reforestation and protect habitats against clear-cutting.

It is an exciting model of environmental responsibility.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We reduce, reuse and recycle in many ways at the Edmonton Valley Zoo:

  • Clearly labelled bins for public disposal of bottles, recyclables and garbage.
  • Zoo School and staff use a vermicomposting system for organics.
  • Limited paper printing; however paper maps are distributed. There is a bin for visitors to recycle their maps on the way out.

Cell Phone Recycling with Eco-Cell

The Edmonton Valley Zoo proudly works with Eco-cell to recycle old cell phones and electronic accessories. 

There are several reasons why recycling your mobile device makes a difference.

  • Raw material is needed from the earth to make new cell phones. Coltan (columbite-tantalite) is a raw material in cell phones. Coltan is often found in the Congo in the middle of endangered gorilla and elephant habitats. These animals are being killed for Coltan. The U.N. has reported that in the past five years, the eastern lowland gorilla population in the Congo has declined by 90%. Reducing the demand for Coltan will help save these animals and their habitat.
  • Hazardous materials leak out of electronics when they sit in a landfill. Not only to do they take up space, but they pollute the ground and nearby water sources.
  • Recycling cell phones reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling just a million cell phones reduces greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 33 cars off the road for a year.

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is a member of the Eco-Cell Silverback Program. Collect electronics at work, at home, or in your neighbourhood. Bring them to the zoo to support of gorilla habitat conservation!

The zoo currently accepts the following for electronics recycling:

  • Cell phones
  • Cell phone accessories
  • Digital cameras
  • iPods and MP3 players
  • Handheld game systems
  • GPS handheld units
  • Laptops
  • E-readers
  • Portable hard drives

Please bring these devices to the Zoo Saito Centre Administration or the John Janzen Nature Centre administration desk for recycling to help conserve gorilla and elephant habitats!

Enrichment Garden

The Edmonton Valley Zoo has an award-winning Enrichment Garden on site that allows the Zoo to grow its own food.

The Enrichment Garden grows a healthy variety of fruit and vegetables. Heirloom or natural varieties are preferred as they contain fewer sugars, similar to food found in the wild. The enrichment garden also grows herbs used in scent enrichments. The Enrichment Garden uses its own compost, water catchment and organic gardening methods.

An enriching environment is one where the animals are introduced to objects, sounds, smells or other stimuli that enhance their lives. Enrichments at the zoo are often food based. 

The Edmonton Valley Zoo thanks Salisbury Greenhouse for generously donating plants to the garden.
 

Palm Oil Campaign

As advocates for wildlife, conservation and sustainability, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is committed to supporting sustainable production of palm oil.  As an interim measure, we support the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in our standard for purchasing. When we purchase candy for hosting and events, we commit to buying sustainable palm oil products.

We continue to network with sustainable palm oil leaders to advocate for transparent labelling and strict standards that protect climate, rainforests, peatlands, biodiversity and human rights.

We encourage visitors to take the following steps:

  • Learn more about palm oil. Spread the word! Tell your friends.
  • Shop responsibly. Do you know where your dollars are going? Ensure the companies you buy from have sustainable and responsible corporate commitments.
  • Consume responsibly. Look for the Forest Conservation Society logo when purchasing wood and paper.
  • Support Conservation Funds as you are able.
Bees and Biodiversity

The Edmonton Valley Zoo has recently added Honey Bees to its animal ambassador team. Two hives are located between the Guanaco and Bighorn Sheep enclosures.

In addition to the 2 honey bee hives, the zoo has also welcomed a number of solitary bee hives to the facility. Solitary bees don’t have the same social behaviour that other bumblebees and honeybees have, instead they live on their own. Because honeybees aren’t native to Canada, it’s important for us to foster the natural pollinators of the Edmonton area too.


Resources

For More Information

Edmonton Valley Zoo

13315 Buena Vista Road (87th Avenue)
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2R7

Telephone In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311
Email attractions@edmonton.ca

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