What Can I Do?

Zoo Boise strives to be one of the "greenest" businesses in the Treasure Valley.  From using recycled paper towels in our restrooms to biocompostable products in our Critter Café, we are always looking for new ways to save energy and resources.  Won't you join us?

As an individual, you can help turn the tide away from extinction by practicing some of these simple suggestions:

  • Live conservation! Don’t make conservation an effort, make it a way of life. Start making a list of things you can do daily (recycling, saving water, etc.) and then add them into your routine one at a time until they are a part of your daily life.
  • Reuse what you can and always recycle. Use biodegradable products. Compost garbage when appropriate. Turn off lights and water. Buy items used whenever possible. Think of ways to be energy and water efficient. We’re all in it together!
  • Save water! Water is the source of life for all living things. Limit your consumption, avoid harmful pesticides and other chemicals that pollute and use native plantings in your yard that need far less water than non-native plants. Visit Partners for Clean Water for ideas on reducing your water consumption.
  • Increase your backyard’s biodiversity by planting a variety of native vegetation to attract diverse urban wildlife or xeriscaping your lawn.
  • When grocery shopping, take your own canvas bag or backpack . Reuse and recycle old plastic and paper grocery bags. This helps save paper (and trees!) and reduces the impacts on the environment from plastic production and the need for oil.
  • Buy shade-grown coffee and help reduce the need to clear-cut rain forests where much of the world’s coffee is grown. This leaves vital tree canopy and forests for birds and other wildlife. Visit www.shadecoffee.org
  • Consider "corn plastics" for your picnics and parties. A number of new disposable eating utensils and food container products using corn, sugar cane and other natural starches are on the market that are biodegradeable/compostable and do not contain petroleum. They are as good as plastic and better for the environment.  You can even test some out at our Critter Café!
  • Don’t buy jewelry and souvenirs made from wild animal products (fur, shark teeth, coral, etc.). Many of these animals were killed to produce these “luxury” items. So, if you’re unsure about the legality or origination of your purchase, don’t buy it!
  • Support the protection of old growth temperate and tropical forest ecosystems and refrain from buying exotic hardwood products obtained through non-sustainable forestry practices.
  • Purchase FSC-certified wood products when building and remodeling The Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC, is an international, non-profit organization that identifies wood and wood products, including lumber, furniture and paper, which are derived from well-managed forests certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC. By using products with the FSC logo, you are supporting the environment and more. The products are guaranteed to meet strict environmental and ethical standards and have been independently certified. Find suppliers by visiting www.certifiedwood.org and click on “Certified Forest Products” or just ask a clerk next time you shop. For more information on the FSC, visit www.fsc.org.
  • When traveling in other countries , remember that strict laws govern the import and export of many plants and animals. And NEVER remove wild plants and animals from their habitat.
  • Know where your food comes from. Many types of seafood are seriously endangered due to overfishing. Monterey Bay Aquarium has developed a Seafood Watch List which notes a variety of seafoods that are in jeopardy and should be avoided and which still exist in sufficient numbers and/or are harvested in a sustainable manner.
  • Don’t release unwanted “exotic” pets that are not native to the area in which you live. These pets, such as turtles, frogs and snakes, from other parts of the U.S. or the world, often are unsuited to our climate or compete with or prey upon native animals. They may also carry diseases that can infect native animals.
  • Learn about issues affecting endangered species. Visit Association of Zoos and Aquariums-sanctioned zoos and aquariums, and also nature centers and wildlife refuges. Join and become an active member in these organizations. Membership at Zoo Boise, for example, helps support conservation projects through the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund. (Go to our Membership section for more information or to join.)