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Zoo staff weighs recycling

Hailee weighs her campers’ recycling for the day!

Did you know that the average American uses 48 single-use plastic straws per month? That’s 192 straws per month for a family of four. Sustainability facts like these are being taught to our campers this summer, who are actively reducing their waste.

In each third and fourth grade, and fifth and sixth grade camp this summer, we’ve been weighing the campers’ waste each day to determine how many pounds of compostable, recyclable and landfill materials they are discarding after lunch.

During each camp’s daily afternoon snack, an education staff member comes in to give them their results from the previous day to see if they’ve lessened their landfill waste—and in exchange, increased their recycling and composting—throughout the week. Campers are also introduced to sustainable alternatives to single-use products, such as straws, grocery bags and water bottles.

We’re even sending surveys to campers’ parents to see if the message stuck with them and if they’re making any changes in their homes!

Over 300 campers throughout the summer have participated in this initiative—which means we’ve given hundreds of families the tools to make sustainable changes in their households!