Tag Archives: green

Detroit Zoo Decks the Halls with Green this Holiday Season

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. Continue reading

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Detroit Zoo Wraps Up Energy Efficiency Improvemen​t Project

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ROYAL OAK, Mich. – As part of its Greenprint sustainability plan, the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) has completed a 14-month energy efficiency improvement project at the Detroit Zoo.

The $2 million project, which began in September 2012, promises to save the Zoo nearly $275,000 in annual utility costs. The DZS’s performance contract with Johnson Controls, Inc. provides a guaranteed payback of its investment within seven years through savings of energy usage and related operational expenses.

“Being green is a fundamental value that reinforces our commitment to progressive resource management and environmental leadership,” said Ron Kagan, DZS Executive Director and CEO. “The energy and resource efficiencies realized through this project represent another big step on our green journey.”

Noteworthy examples of energy efficiency improvements at the Detroit Zoo include variable speed controls installed at the Arctic Ring of Life – something that wasn’t widely used in 2001 when the facility was built – resulting in a savings of nearly $55,000 a year. Electronic controls installed in various animal habitats where water runs non-stop will save tens of thousands of dollars annually.

The energy efficiency upgrades span more than 50 Zoo buildings and include installation of additional utility meters and low-flow toilets as well as rooftop unit upgrades and boiler control upgrades. A new automated building management system allows the Zoo to monitor the HVAC systems of multiple buildings from one location and make adjustments in real time based on actual conditions.

The improvements will result in an annual greenhouse gas reduction of 1,063 metric tons, equivalent to carbon dioxide emissions of 203 passenger vehicles or saving more than 11 million gallons of water a year.

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 about the energy efficiency improvement project and other green initiatives, click here.

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Changes on Tap for Bottled Water Sales at Detroit Zoo

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ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoo hopes to wean its visitors off the bottle. As part of the Detroit Zoological Society’s (DZS) Greenprint sustainability plan, the Zoo has launched a three-year initiative to discontinue the sale and use of bottled water.

While bottled water is the number-one seller at Zoo concession stands and generates $240,000 in annual sales, it is also the largest contributor to plastic waste.

“This phase-out will cost us revenue, but it’s important to walk our talk and do what’s good for the environment,” said DZS Executive Director and CEO Ron Kagan.

The Zoo will gradually increase the sale of reusable water bottles at concession stands, which can be refilled for free at one of seven new filtered-water stations throughout the park. Interpretive signage explains why the Zoo is making the switch.

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“We understand that this will be an adjustment for some visitors, but we hope it will help in a simple but significant way to make a difference for the planet,” said Kagan.

According to the Earth Policy Institute, more than 30 billion water bottles each year end up as garbage or litter in the United States. Additionally, it takes 5 liters of water to make 1 liter of bottled water, and it requires about a quarter of a water bottle of oil to produce, transport and dispose of a single bottle of water.

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 about the water bottle phase-out plan and other green initiatives, visit http://www.detroitzoo.org/about/greenprint.

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It’s Easy Being Green at Detroit Zoo’s GreenFest, April 20-21

Green Fest - Detroit Zoo

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoo will host its inaugural GreenFest on Saturday, April 20, and Sunday, April 21, 2013, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Zoo-wide event is dedicated to celebrating Earth Day and educating Zoo visitors about environmental conservation.

Each GreenFest guest who turns in a Green Zoo survey – which can be downloaded at detroitzoo.org beginning April1 – will receive a reduced admission price of $8, parking not included. Admission for Detroit Zoological Society members is free, but members are encouraged to participate in the survey. Green Zoo surveys will also be available at the admission gates during GreenFest.

GreenFest will feature earth-friendly craft projects, an endangered species and green scavenger hunt, a 30-foot rock climbing wall (weather permitting), family yoga classes and animal enrichment. Off Broadway Productions will present a mini-musical about recycling at the Events Pavilion at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

A Green Games Gallery will be hosted by the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) Green Team conservation group, including games using recycled materials, storytelling and educational displays. The event will also include hands-on science experiments by the University of Detroit Chemistry Club, composting demonstrations by SOCWA (Southeastern Oakland County Water Authority) and exhibits by local conservation groups. All GreenFest activities are free with Zoo admission.

A “Save Vanishing Species” semipostal stamp-cancellation ceremony will take place on Saturday, and the stamp will be available for sale throughout the weekend. Proceeds will benefit the Wildlife Without Borders Multinational Species Conservation Funds administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Anyone who turns in a used cell phone for recycling between April 7 and April 21 at Noodles & Company restaurants in Livonia, Northville, Rochester, Royal Oak or Troy (two locations) to benefit the Detroit Zoo will receive a free appetizer and a voucher for one complimentary admission to the Zoo’s 4-D Theater or Simulator Ride in the Wild Adventure Zone during GreenFest. Cell phones will also be collected at the event.

GreenFest is supported by DTE Energy, Ford, The Home Depot, IKEA, Noodles & Company, United Healthcare Community Plan and Whole Foods Market.

GreenFest is an initiative of the DZS Greenprint, a comprehensive strategic plan to refine and improve facilities and daily practices, develop new policies and programs and improve green literacy in the community.

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Fashion Friday: Permanent Solutions

By Stephanie Saviola

It seems like every store you shop at from groceries to retail, you’re supplied with those canvas totes that have each store’s logo plastered all over them. I’m all about helping the environment, especially if it means avoiding hordes of plastic bags that are shoved under the kitchen sink, but these shopping totes get to be a bit much. I have a dozen that I will never even use. The other day, I saw a woman on the train here in Chicago trying to juggle a purse, a lunch bag and two other shopping bags. It made me cringe a little to see all the clutter being dragged around by commuters, bags hitting people as they walk by the crowds. There’s a way to be practical and carry all of your belongings without looking like a balancing act.

Inspired by their love for flea markets, fashion designer Shira Entis and lawyer Alex Bell are the creative duo behind The Original Fleabag.

These versatile bags, which are made in the USA—limited editions are handmade—are available in an array of designs that can be paired with a dressed-up or dressed-down look. The bags are a bit steep, ($100-$700 range) but well worth it as an investment piece that can be used for many purposes. Below are my three favorite looks in The Original Flea:

“Normandy” is a perfect look for the fall/ winter season.

The “Nantucket” compliments spring and summer looks and makes a great beach bag as well.

And the original in “Coffee Bean” is my favorite for everyday, year-round use.

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Shorpy Saturday – 1942 Woodward

By Jeffrey Buck

Today’s photograph is sort of ironic in the sense that you can see tracks running along Woodward that will soon be restored once the new light rail system is completed from Hart Plaza to New Center. In a city dominated by the automobile for so many years it’s incredible to finally see other modes of transportation springing back to life.

Take a look at the photographed entitled “Green Detroit: 1942.”

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Woodward welcomes trees

By Jeffrey Buck

Woodward Avenue is getting some much needed attention to its lack of trees up and down the median throughout Royal Oak, specifically between 11 Mile Road and Normandy Road. Royal Oak has been known for its consistent appreciation for trees throughout the city and has been awarded the “Tree City USA” award numerous years running, according to the city’s website.

“Its commitment to tree planting and preservation has earned the City of Royal Oak the National Arbor Day Foundation distinction of ‘Tree City USA‘ every year since 1976.”

I can’t express enough how much I hate seeing orange x’s on trees in my neighborhood.  In the grand scheme of things it’s minimal, but it takes a long time for a tree to mature and losing one can be a major blow to a city or private property owner. Although in many cases it’s standard procedure to eliminate all but a few trees in newly developed subdivisions–a main reason I will probably never live in a new development with the dreaded cul-de-sacs, detention ponds and the general lack of architectural detail. No offense to those who live in these places or have an affinity for them.

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