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The Detroit Zoo Keeps Getting Greener

By M+E Staff

Michigan, part of the so-called Rust Belt, is probably better associated with polluting industry than with green-energy efforts. That’s too bad, because our state is home to significant innovation and leadership in renewable energy production and environmental waste reduction.

One of the bright lights in these efforts is the Detroit Zoo. In mid-December, the Detroit Zoological Society announced the zoo’s operations would be powered with 100-percent renewable electricity from wind farms. The DZS is purchasing Renewable Energy Credits, each of which represent 1 megawatt-hour of electricity generated from a renewable energy resource such as wind or solar power. 

The announcement is just the latest in a string of them from the DZS, which is busily implementing its Greenprint, a strategic plan to improve green practices and facilities at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo, incorporate sustainability in all policies and programs, and improve green literacy and action in the community. Other recent efforts have included ditching sales of bottled water and building the country’s first zoo-based dry biodigester.

The DZS’ efforts have earned a steady stream of awards for green efforts, including the 2015 Green Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and just this month landed it recognition as the 2015 Best-Managed Nonprofit by Crain’s Detroit Business.

Congratulations to DZS for the recognition. Hopefully, with efforts like these, Michigan will build a reputation as a green leader.