Wednesday, February 24, 2010

....Oregon Zoo teaches Oregon Aquarium how to ‘go green’....

by Keely Chalmers –

PORTLAND — Two of Oregon’s biggest attractions were teaming up to “go green,” as staff members from the Oregon Coast Aquarium visited the Oregon Zoo for a lesson in everything from solar powered trash cans to something called “Ellie-pooh.

On Friday, member of the aquarium’s green team toured the zoo and got a behind-the-scenes look at its sustainable practices. They studied the zoo’s solar powered trash compactors, also known as “big bellies,” and the extensive recycling system, among many other things.

The zoo recycles whatever it can from glass to plastic and cell phones, to batteries.

Aquarium staff also toured the gift shop’s designated “green zone” where they walked on sustainable carpeting, browsed through eco-friendly products and picked up a couple pads of “Ellie-pooh” paper made from recycled elephant waste.

On that same note, they saw first-hand how the zoo composts 100-percent of its herbivore waste.

“We estimated over a million pounds a year of waste through his program diverts from the waste stream,” explained Oregon Zoo Green Team Chair Michael Weatherman.

Nemesia Herzstein who heads up the aquarium’s green team said she was amazed by the tour. “By the end of the day I think we’re going to go home with some pretty good ideas… it will help us move forward with our aquarium goals,” she said.

Herzstein added that she plans to implement at least some of what she saw at the zoo at the aquarium.