Zoo staff have come up with creative ways to reuse materials.
- The tree graphic at the top of the Tropics Ramp (see picture) highlights some of the Zoo’s green practices and is made of repurposed and other sustainable materials: scrap metal, reclaimed wood, pressboard made from sunflower hulls, marmoleum (natural linoleum), and sustainably harvested regional wood.
- The Zoo’s composting program generates tons of finished compost which is then used as a soil mix additive and as mulch on existing turf areas. Finished compost is also used as fertilizer for pasture, crop fields, and the garden at the Wells Fargo Family Farm.
- Zookeepers reuse feed bags, cardboard boxes, paper towel tubes, perfume sheets, newspaper, phone books, and other items as animal enrichment. Some items can still be recycled after the animals have enjoyed them.
- The Wells Fargo Family Farm uses crops from its crop field for animal feed and enrichment. A vegetable garden is also planted and provides food to both animals and staff.
- Service Systems Associates (SSA), which runs the Minnesota Zoo’s gift shops, removes and reuses all vendor bubble wrap and popcorn packaging. Damaged merchandise and samples are given to charity instead of throwing them away.