The North Carolina Zoo is committed to sustainability. We work hard to reduce our impact on the environment and raise awareness about green practices you can use at home too. On this page you can learn about how the Zoo uses techniques like solar energy, composting, and recycling to reduce our impact on the natural world. 

Caring About More than Animals

The North Carolina Zoo is home to more than 1,800 animals, each receiving individualized care to ensure they have ample opportunities to thrive. But we also embrace our responsibility as caretakers of the Earth. Consequently, our concern for the natural environment extends well beyond the animals living within the Zoo’s property boundaries, and the conservation projects on the ground we participate in. 

For more than 30 years, we have been invested in natural resource conservation as a way to maintain natural ecosystems and prevent environmental degradation.   The Zoo is also a long-term member of North Carolina’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative, which is a designation for organizations displaying a commitment to exemplary environmental performance beyond what is required by law.

which signifies the Zoo’s commitment to minimizing waste, conserving natural resources, and preventing environmental degradation in every aspect of Zoo operations.

Beginning with the initiation of its first ‘green practices’ in the late 1980’s, the Zoo has enacted numerous projects, such as high efficiency LED lighting and HVAC control systems. Current priority initiatives include intensive recycling and composting programs, and a comprehensive approach to minimizing single-use plastics throughout Zoo operations. Reducing our plastics use helps accomplish numerous goals, including reducing consumption of fossil fuels (most plastics are made from petroleum), eliminating potential marine debris, and addressing growing concern over microplastic pollution.

Thirty Years of Green Practices 

Our Green Practices Program has grown rapidly over the past three decades. Today, the Zoo:

Partners: BB&T Bank, Carolina Solar Energy, NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund, NC Department of Transportation, NC Environmental Stewardship Initiative, NC Green Power, North Carolina Electric Membership Cooperatives, Randolph Electric Membership Corporation

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