ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is dreaming of a green Christmas – and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa – by incorporating elements of its Greenprint sustainability plan into Detroit Zoo events and operations this holiday season.
The Zoo’s Wild Lights holiday light display, held on select evenings through December 31, features more than five million energy-efficient LED lights illuminating buildings, trees and more than 100 animal sculptures on a trail through the front half of the Zoo. A 100-bulb string of LED lights uses the same electricity as 42 100-bulb strings of traditional lights.
“We’re very excited to present an even bigger and brighter Wild Lights display this year and even more so to do it in a green way,” said Ron Kagan, DZS Executive Director and CEO.
The DZS Green Team is on hand at Wild Lights to share green holiday tips, including demonstrations on how to upcycle common household trash and recycling items into bird feeders, tree ornaments and tabletop centerpieces. Guests can bring in broken holiday lights for recycling in exchange for a coupon toward a new strand of LED holiday lights.
The DZS animal care staff will utilize recycled materials such as boxes, bags, wrapping paper rolls and other items for holiday enrichment for the animals. Unused, untreated Christmas trees will be provided for the bears and great apes, who enjoy eating, tossing, carrying and rolling the trees.
The DZS offers these tips for keeping the holidays green at home:
• Use LED lights instead of traditional lights.
• In lieu of buying decorations, deck the halls with natural materials such as gourds, branches and berries.
• Purchase locally sourced food and produce for holiday meals, and compost scraps such as vegetable and fruit peels, coffee grounds and eggshells.
• Take reusable bags for holiday shopping.
• Combine errands into one trip to reduce emissions.
• Send holiday greetings electronically.
• Reuse ribbons, bows and wrapping paper, or make wrappings with magazines, newspapers or cloth.
• Give something green that will last the whole year, such as a plant or seeds.
The Greenprint is the DZS’s plan to refine and improve daily practices and facilities, develop new policies and programs and improve green literacy in the community. To learn more, click here.
The Detroit Zoological Society is a nonprofit organization that operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo. Situated on 125 acres of naturalistic habitats, the Detroit Zoo is located at 10 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue off I-696 in Royal Oak, Mich. The Detroit Zoo is open 362 days a year, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through Labor Day, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day after Labor Day through October. Admission is $14 for adults 15 to 61 and $10 for children 2 to 14, senior citizens 62 and older and active military with ID; children under 2 are admitted free. The Detroit Zoo will light up the night this holiday season with Wild Lights, a spectacular holiday light display. For 24 nights, more than five million LED lights will illuminate trees, buildings and animal sculptures on a trail through the front half of the Zoo. Wild Lights will be held 5:30-9 p.m. Nov. 22-23 and 28-30 an d Dec. 5-7, 11-14, 18-23 and 26-31, 2014. Cost is $8 per person in advance and $10 at the gate for ages 2 and older (under 2 admitted free); parking is $6 per car. Tickets are available online and at main admissions. The Belle Isle Nature Zoo is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day) and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through October; closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission to the Nature Zoo is free; however, a State of Michigan Recreation Passport is required for all personal vehicles to enter Belle Isle State Park. For more information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit www.detroitzoo.org.