Imagine this. You head out with your family to the Houston Zoo. You are walking around enjoying the warm sunny weather, but you start to notice many of the animals at the Zoo are in the Endangered category. How can the Rhinos be endangered when they have no natural predators? Poachers. That just makes you put the ANGER in Endangered. You love going to the Zoo, and you want to make sure these animals are around when your children take their children to the Houston Zoo.
Now that you realize many of your favorite animals are going extinct, you and your children can be thinking the same thing- GIFT SHOP! Look around at some of the tags on products in the gift shop, you will find many surprises from what you might expect. Many of the gift shop products are bought from rural villages in Africa, Panama, and other impoverished communities. All 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Houston Zoo Conservation Projects. These projects give men and women the opportunity to have a higher standard of living, as well as benefiting Gorillas, Snow Leopards, and Rhino Conservation. When you affect one part of an ecosystem by saving a Gorilla, you also improve the lives of many other animals.
As said on the Lion King, animals live in a “Circle of Life.” An animal’s survival depends on everything in the ecosystem, including the environment. Many products sold in the gift shop are made with the environment in mind. The gift shop has worked with manufacturers to reduce amounts of cardboard packaging and to use recycled products to make puzzles and postcards. Also, there are Bamboo shirts and BPA free recyclable water jugs. Even some of the stuffed animals are made out of Soy products. Then, you can carry your goodies in biodegradable gift bags, an affordable recycled animal print bag, or if you are really insane use NO BAG AT ALL!!!
Feel free to ask any employees about the different ways the gift shop works to benefit the environment and animal conservation. Just by buying that simple souvenir to remember your trip, you are helping your grandchildren to see the same animals that you know and love!
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