Generous Donor Travels 93 Million Miles to Pay Cincinnati Zoo’s Energy Bills Zoo offers Earth Day programs to help you save energy, money, and the planet

Posted April 21, 2020

CINCINNATI, OH (April 21, 2020) –  Sustainability measures that the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden put in place years ago are paying off at a time when the Zoo needs it most! Solar arrays, which convert light from the sun (93 million miles from Earth) into usable clean energy, installed over parking lots and on buildings generate enough energy on sunny days to power the Zoo.  Water retention tanks buried under John the lion and his friends in neighboring habitats provide 100% of the water in Fiona’s pools and have helped the Zoo save more than 1.6 BILLION gallons of  H2O.  The Zoo will share ways that you can save money, resources, and the planet with two virtual Earth Day offerings tomorrow.

“Modeling sustainable practices is just as important to us as inspiring visitors with wildlife,” says Mark Fisher, VP of Facilities and Sustainability for the Zoo. “The most important, and impactful, step we can take in lowering our footprint on this earth is to dramatically reduce our use of natural resources in our own backyard.”

The Zoo will show you how to build a better home for wildlife during a special Earth Day Home Safari* on April 22 at 3 p.m. EDT on Facebook Live.  You’ll learn how to provide safe spaces for wildlife from monarchs to migratory songbirds to live, find food, and raise families in your own yards and landscapes.

Hands-on activities with Earth Day themes such as resource conservation, pollination, and recycling will be part of the Zoo’s virtual Party for the Planet.  Local conservation organizations that would normally be on site for the event will participate by providing how-to videos, scavenger hunts, games and more!

“Small actions like planting a tree or a pollinator plant can make a difference.  Part of the Zoo’s mission is to inspire visitors with wildlife, and modeling how to protect the planet goes hand in hand with that,” said Fisher. “We will continue to lead the way in sustainability until we achieve our goal to be Net Zero.  It’s a big goal, but we’re on our way.”

Cincinnati Zoo, known as the Greenest Zoo in America, is committed to becoming the world’s first zoo to achieve Net Zero energy, waste and water status. In fact, no private or public entity of any kind has attempted a sustainability initiative on the scale it’s driving towards. A key component of  the Zoo’s Net Zero plan includes more solar power on all of its properties, more rainwater collection, more composting and less overall waste.

* The Zoo has been bringing its animals and plants to people at home via its Facebook Live Home Safaris since it closed in mid March.  Each safari includes a live visit with an animal or a glimpse of things happening at the Zoo along with an themed activity, designed by the Zoo’s education staff, that can be done at home.  All past safaris and activities can be found on the Home Safari Resources page.