The North Carolina Zoo recently received Sustainability Awards from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Mammal keepers from the Rocky Coast exhibit and the zoo’s general curator were recognized by DENR Secretary Dee Freeman.
The award honored the zoo for educating visitors on how to save landfill space and reduce litter by using reusable shopping bags. The average shopper uses 500 disposable bags a year.
The zoo keepers pledged to only use reusable bags while grocery shopping, according to a press release.
They also created a life-size bear sculpture out of disposable grocery bags that will be part of an educational display.
The zoo also became a member of the state’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative, which is managed by the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, the zoo’s parent agency.
The program honors manufacturers, agri-businesses; local, state and federal government agencies; and schools and universities that make a formal commitment to reduce their impacts on the environment.
The zoo became a Partner, the first level of achievement in the three-level initiative.
Those who take part in the ESI program make a commitment to exceed compliance requirements, set measurable environmental performance goals and show continuous improvement.
The ESI program presently has 123 member sites in 53 North Carolina counties.
The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly E. Perdue, Governor.