Household Tips

Help Conserve the Earth's Natural Resources

Cool Tips for Conservation At Home

You can help conserve the Earth's natural resources right in the comfort of your own home! Here are some simple steps you can take to help preserve our world for generations to come.

  • Knowledge is power: Educate yourself about endangered plant and animal species and species native to your area.
  • Don't pollute.
  • Only buy palm-oil free household products and food items.
  • Prevent soil erosion by seeding for grass or planting shrubs.
  • Avoid dumping chemicals down drains.
  • Avoid releasing non-native plant and animal species into the environment. Non-native species, or species not found naturally in an area, can alter the ecological community and have a negative impact on native plants and animals.
  • Save energy in your home by replacing air filters once a month, closing air vents in unused rooms and turning off lights when you leave a room.
  • Replace your regular light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Check the weather stripping on all doors and windows.
  • Research ways you can eliminate hazardous household chemicals. Purchase "green" cleaners or look for natural cleaning agents such as vinegar and baking soda.
  • Create wildlife habitats in your yard by providing shelter and clean water. 
  • Water your yard and flower beds early in the morning or late at night to prevent evaporation and excess water use.
  • Recycle!
  • Use recycled paper for printing, faxing and writing.Keeping it green
  • Buy a home water filtration system (like the kind that fits on your faucet) instead of purchasing bottled water.
  • Recycle printer cartridges. Many companies even provide an envelope for you!
  • Paint with brushes instead of using spray paint, which can release harmful toxins into the air. 
  • Join a carpool or ride your bicycle to work.
  • Recycle motor oil when you change it.
  • When making a trip to the grocery store, use canvas shopping bags instead of plastic or paper bags.
  • Look for energy saving appliances.
  • Plant trees, which provide shade and help eliminate carbon dioxide in the environment.
  • Start a compost pile.
  • Use organic fertilizers. Not only are they better for the environment, but they can save the life of an animal that thinks the fertilizers are a "tasty treat."
  • Install bird and wildlife feeders for your yard. Not only will you get to see some pretty cool animals, but you will be providing an additional food source for them.
  • Trade in disposable products for reusable ones.
  • Volunteer at the Zoo or other wildlife organizations.
  • Write to your local politicians and express your concerns about the environment.
  • Lead by example! Try to live a green lifestyle, and encourage others around you to do the same!
  • Plant a Monarch Garden full of pollinators! Here's how:

Round Up for Conservation

We’re wild about conservation at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden and our guests play a big role in supporting the Zoo’s conservation efforts. Here’s how you can help. With each purchase you make at the Zoo, you can choose to Round Up for Conservation. You can simply tell the cashier that you want to "round up" the amount of your purchase to the next dollar and your donation will go toward one of the Zoo’s conservation initiatives.

“The Oklahoma City Zoo is dedicated to our community and to bettering the world for all living creatures worldwide. The Round Up for Conservation program is a great way to affect change through a seemingly small show of generosity.”

-- Dwight Lawson, OKC Zoo executive director

Eco Cell - Cell Phone Recycling

Cell phones have a direct effect on wildlife. Coltan is a substance frequently used in small electronics. Mining for coltan threatens gorillas and their habitats.

When these electronic devices are recycled through the Eco-Cell Recycling Program, older cell phones are disposed of according to strict environmental standards. New cell phones are refurbished and sold in developing countries. This process decreases the global market for new cell phones!

The Zoo is one 110 zoos helping save gorillas through the Eco-Cell Recycling Program. Join us in this quest! Items accepted include smartphones, cell phones, handheld gaming systems, tablets, ipods and iPads as well as any chargers or accessories that come with these devices. Items not accepted include laptops, portable CD players and digital cameras. Donations are accepted in the Zoo's Guest Relations office during regular business hours. Thank you!

The Zoo donates 100 percent of all recycling proceeds to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, which is one of the Zoo’s global conservation partners.

The Palm Oil Problem

Shop Smart! Make a Difference for Wild Orangutans

This information is meant to be a helpful guide for consumers who are concerned about orangutan conservation and deforestation due to non-sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia. Palm oil is a key ingredient used in many of our household products--from lotion to shampoo--and in many foods. However, companies that are members of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) are committed to using certified sustainable palm oil in food and other household items. Please support these companies that are doing their best to make a difference for orangutans. Shop smart and help keep this amazing species from becoming extinct!

To guide AZA-accredited institutions in their efforts to address palm oil messaging, the AZA released an official position, which reads:

"AZA recognizes that unsustainable palm oil production results in massive deforestation, rapid biodiversity loss in tropical ecosystems, and significant greenhouse gas emissions. Global consumption of palm oil and its derivatives is increasing, requiring strong conservation action to save species. By facilitating change through audience and stakeholder engagement, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are well positioned to help break the link between palm oil production and deforestation."

Hey parents! Did you know that you can buy sweet treats for the holidays and support orangutan conservation at the same time? This printable guide and mobile device app will help you purchase candy that is palm oil free or made sustainably.

  • Click here for a list of palm oil-free candy, groceries and household items and get the palm oil mobile device app! 
  • Click here for more resources on palm oil at
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