In support of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) which Glasgow hosted last month, Paignton Zoo launched a campaign for its staff to become ‘Sustainable Stars.’ The campaign encouraged all of their staff, teams, departments and volunteers to think about how they can reduce their carbon footprint and take action.
Paignton Zoo is part of the Wild Planet Trust and their mission is to help protect at-risk animals and plants from the impacts of biodiversity loss and help people understand how to live in harmony with nature.
“Here at Wild Planet Trust we believe that every species is important, everything is connected and that every action matters. The climate crisis poses an existential threat; not only to the species we work to protect and the habitats that they call home, but to us as human beings and the communities we are all part of,” said Steve Nash, Head of Campaigns and Programmes at Wild Planet Trust.
He continued: “We believe that by working together, and by focussing on helping people to understand how to live in harmony with nature, we can act to protect biodiversity and create a sustainable future. We can all ‘do our bit’ to live more sustainably and as a conservation charity we aim to engage and inspire our staff and visitors to do just that.”
To kick start their campaign ideas were compiled and shared on their website which included tips such as replacing bulbs with LEDs, reducing the temperature of washing cycles to 30 degrees, switching to products made from sustainable palm oil, and buying Fairtrade coffee.
Following an influx of pledges and ideas from inspired staff, their Education team was announced as the winners for pledging to reduce the amount of single use plastic brought onsite by schools.
“All KS1 children get free school meals and they often bring a whole bag of bottled water as part of the lunches they bring on their trip. However, they also usually bring their own water bottles with them for breaks. Going forwards we are going to encourage them to ditch the bottled water and use our facilities to fill up their own bottles”, said Jo Clark, Engagement Officer at Paignton Zoo.
She continued “this will initially be just for those groups using the education centre for lunches, but we hope with collaboration from other departments that we can expand this for all visiting schools.”
To find out how you can help in the fight against climate change and find out ways to reduce your carbon footprint visit www.wildplanettrust.org.uk.