Threatened by shrinking ice caps and the accident of their Arctic habitat, arctic bears accept become ambassadors for ecology sustainability in abounding zoos worldwide.
At the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, admiral say the behind-the-scenes arrangement acclimated to air-conditioned and calefaction the Arctic Frontier exhibit’s 165,000-gallon pool, as able-bodied as adjacent buildings, is aloof as analytical to wildlife conservation.
It’s powered with geothermal activity — accustomed calefaction from the Earth and sun — that ultimately reduces the zoo’s carbon footprint.
“I like to alarm them our ‘solar bears,'” joked Barbara Revard, a longtime agent who became the zoo’s aboriginal administrator of sustainability aftermost year.
The avant-garde exhibit, which debuted in 2010, is one of abounding affidavit the zoo accustomed a first-of-its-kind accolade from the Ohio Ecology Protection Agency on Monday: a platinum-level Encouraging Ecology Excellence recognition.
The accolade requires organizations to beat ecology authoritative requirements. Programs charge aggrandize above their facilities, absolutely impacting their bounded community, arena and, in the zoo’s case, the world.
One of the zoo’s all-embracing efforts was allowance a bonobo altar in the Democratic Republic of Congo abstraction solar ability and anaerobic digestion, a accustomed adjustment of breaking bottomward decay and bearing energy. Another was sending water-carrying backpacks to bodies in Kenya and Namibia, area the zoo has attention partners.
But bounded efforts, no amount how small, are aloof as important, Revard said.
For example, a “My House” display at the zoo teaches visitors about nature, recycling, conservation, wildlife-friendly agronomical and application beneath disposable items. Similar letters are emblazoned throughout exhibits at the zoo.
“People may anticipate ‘I can’t do annihilation to help,’ and that’s aloof not true,” she said. “All of our accomplishments can access the ambiance and beastly habitats.”
“If a actor bodies all do a simple action, like flipping off a ablaze about-face or recycling, it becomes a abundant activity that reduces our carbon footprint.”
Between 2015 and 2016, the zoo bargain its electricity, accustomed gas and propane acceptance by 13 percent, extenuative added than $275,000, Revard said.
Its aberration rate, which measures how abundant decay is recycled or composted instead of beatific to a landfill, additionally bigger during that time. It’s now 73 percent.
Officials hoisted a new banderole at the zoo access Monday afternoon as a way to animate chat about the contempo accolade and sustainability.
“We would like to see added businesses beyond Ohio and the country chase the advance the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has taken,” Ohio EPA administrator Craig Butler said.
Washing Systems LLC, based in Loveland, abreast Cincinnati, is the alone added almsman of the platinum-level Encouraging Ecology Excellence accolade so far. To apprentice added about the award, go to epa.ohio.gov/ocapp/ohioe3.
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