Shopping for the Planet

Our gift shop offers a unique selection of green products and international wares that support environmentally sustainable living.

Our gift shop boasts a unique selection of green products and international wares that support environmentally sustainable living and conservation. Green living is encouraged at the gift shop through sales of colorful water bottles for hot and cold beverages, paper made of sugar cane or banana leaves or cushy plush toys made of soy bean fibers. Plastic bags are not offered at the gift shop. Instead guests are encouraged to purchase a re-usable bag or bring in one of their own.

Green Gifts:

Green Gifts at the Oakland Zoo Gift Shop

Aurora Naturally Organic Cotton Stuffed Animals: An ecologically sound alternative to traditional fibers, these sweet plush toys are made from 100% soy bean fiber. The stuffing is 100% kapok, a sustainable rainforest crop.

Sugar Cane and Banana Paper: Beautiful spiral bound notebooks, both big and small, are made of sugar cane and banana leaf instead of trees. Inspiring messages and drawings add to the good, green feelings.

Water Bottles: The gift shop offers a large variety of colorful water bottles for hot and cold liquids. Buy one and carry it with you on your zoo safari.

Re-usable Shopping Bags: Purchase a fun, re-usable shopping bag at the Oakland Zoo and use it for all your shopping needs. These bags feature earth-friendly and animal-related themes, of course!

Green Books: Be inspired to help the planet by purchasing a book about greening and sustainability.

Socks: Even your feet can be green! Close the recycling loop with these socks made from 100% recycled materials.

Conservation is a primary concern throughout the zoo and the gift shop is no exception. Our buyers strive to find beautiful items that support various conservation projects around the globe, especially those that are our conservation partner projects. From elephant poo paper and beads made of magazines to gorgeous Rwandan bowls that help gorillas, the gift shop is the place to shop for a healthy planet for all.

Conservation Gifts

Across the globe, all humans and animals must find food, shelter and the means to survive. Many people struggle to make a living, and as a result, rely on protected forests for resources. This practice poses a serious threat to fragile habitats and the species that live there. The Oakland Zoo believes there is a better way.

By offering these unique, hand-made items, the zoo enables artisans living near wildlife to secure a livelihood that is environmentally sustainable. Through the support of your purchase, we are empowering people, strengthening communities and, in turn, protecting wildlife. Together, our actions provide hope for a planet that we can all share.

Virunga Artisan Crafts: The Virungas are a unique mountain range located in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are home to the incredible and endangered mountain gorilla. Survival of the 700 remaining mountain gorillas greatly depends on the well-being of the people who live in and around these mountains. By purchasing this unique line of quality crafts, we enable local artisans to make a living outside the parks, strengthen their communities and help preserve fragile watershed and gorilla habitat.

The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper: 100% recycled products made from elephant dung. This saves trees, creates jobs and promotes goodwill towards elephants!

Eco-Ivory: These carved animals, key chains and other gifts are made of tagua nut or "vegetable ivory." In the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, tagua palms grow as high as 30 ft. tall. The dried nut resembles animal ivory, but is grown as a sustainable plant. The purchase of an Eco-Ivory gift protects endangered species like elephants, whales and walruses that are hunted for their ivory.

Eco-Mochillas: Mochillas are traditional bags made in Colombia from plant fiber. Project Tamarin has sponsored a program to re-design them so they can be made from discarded plastic bags. There are no formal means to manage waste in small villages, so most trash is thrown to the roadside or burned. As a result, huge quantities of plastic bags have been found littering the forests and villages of Colombia, where the cotton-top tamarin makes its home. This revolutionary program turns plastic bags that were cluttering the environment and jeopardizing the health of the cotton-tops into something that generates a direct economic benefit to local communities. These sturdy and colorful bags help people, animals, and the environment!

Kibale Beads: These beautiful beads are made from used magazines, rolled up, strung and polished. Purchase of these beads supports a group of sixty women who live close to Kibale National Park in Central West Uganda, in the villages of Kyanyawara and Iruhuura. This talented artisan group is called CAP (Community Action Project). These sixty Women spend their limited free time making beads and other crafts. By purchasing their handcrafts, you will be supporting the CAP women by offering them self-esteem, motivation and the means to support themselves through sustainable actions and the re-use of materials.

Hornbill Pins and Bookmarks: These hand crafted and painted beautiful pins and pen holders are made by the youth of the Young Bird Conservation Club in Thailand. Proceeds go to support the club activities, such as tree plantings and nature conservation camp, creating future stewards of this fragile eco-system.

Inganyana Arts and Crafts: Each unique sculpture is made from recycled wire, some used as snares by African poachers to trap and kill wildlife. Crafted by talented artists from Zimbabwe, these sculptures promote the sustainable use of natural and recycled materials, and educate about wildlife protection. Sales benefit local artisans and the local economy, as well as the highly endangered painted dog, or "Inganyana" in Ndebele language.

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