AZA’s Green Summit

Toledo Zoo's Solar Walk. Copyright The Toledo Zoo.

Around the world, zoos and aquariums are demonstrating leadership in sustainability, and discovering there are significant advantages to their operations, while actively reducing the impact their institution has on the environment.

Beginning on March 27th, leaders from accredited zoos and aquariums around the country will meet at AZA’s second annual Green Summit in Palm Desert, Calif. to share sustainability efforts and find green business solutions. The Green Summit is a feature of AZA’s Mid-year Meeting, hosted by The Living Desert.

Led by the AZA’s Green Scientific Advisory Group (Green SAG), the Green Summit will provide a series of workshops to help attendees find unique solutions to become more sustainable.

Vegetated roof on top of the Canopy Gardens Pavilion. Copyright Elmwood Park and Zoo

“AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are leaders in connecting their communities to nature,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “Together, they reach 175 million people, with science-based messages on the value of sustainability.”

The Green Summit will feature Denver Zoo’s working prototype of a gasification system that utilizes animal waste (poop!) and human trash to create clean energy.  The prototype is a motorized, three-wheeled rickshaw called a Tuk Tuk.  In the week leading up to the Green Summit, Denver Zoo took the rickshaw on the “Tour de Tuk Tuk,” stopping at zoos on the route to California before arriving in Palm Desert.  The Tuk Tuk was created to test the gasification technology planned for use in Denver Zoo’s new 10-acre exhibit, Toyota Elephant Passage – just one example of zoos and aquariums being leaders in green practices.

Denver Zoo's gasified Tuk Tuk. (C) Denver Zoo

“We are so fortunate to work in such a collaborative field, where innovative ideas are shared,” said Denver Zoo President/CEO Craig Piper. “Ultimately, we must work together to ensure the wellbeing of animals around the world.”

Follow the Green Summit and AZA’s Mid-Year Meeting on Twitter with the hashtags #GreenSummit and #AZA2012.

Elise Waugh

This entry was posted in Conservation, Denver Zoo, Going Green, Living Desert, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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