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 1,600 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 the past three decades, the Zoo has employed “Green Practices” to use less, waste less, and pollute less so Zoo operations do not damage wild habitats or harm wild animals. This initiative started in 1989 with an audit of the Zoo’s waste streams, and the initiation of several programs to reduce our use of natural resources. These programs initially focused on reducing the amount of waste discarded into landfills, reducing our consumption of paper and lumber products, and reducing our demand for electricity. Since then, several initiatives have been established to reduce our impact on the environment even more. These include:
o    Reducing motor vehicle fuel and emissions; 
o    Reducing water consumption and runoff generated pollution; 
o    Increasing our use of non-toxic inks and chemicals;
o    Increasing our use of responsibly harvested timber products; 
o    Increasing the amount of material recycled and reused; 
o    Increasing the implementation of natural processes to breaking down various waste, including organic waste and vehicle fluids.

Thirty Years of Green Practices 

The North Carolina Zoo’s 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