Have you heard about the exciting new changes in the Zoo’s Education Birthday Party program? It’s been an ongoing effort to get there, but the Oakland Zoo is now happy to announce the “greening” of these popular events. In an effort to promote more responsible and sustainable use of the earth’s natural resources, the Conservation and Education department now offers these fun educational events that utilize recycled and reusable materials.
Over the years, several “green” improvements have been implemented. For a while, we tried using compostable “SpudWare” utensils. However, it made more sense to avoid using disposable materials altogether, even if they were biodegradable. So now, when you book your special Education Birthday Party at the Zoo, you’ll be using re-usable table cloths, Corelle dishware, and reusable kid-friendly utensils.
Every Education Birthday Party here at the Zoo features a live animal presentation, in which children have the opportunity to learn about wildlife conservation issues while experiencing animals up close in an intimate and fun setting. Afterwards, the kids work on a fun “enrichment” craft project that they get to watch the Zoo animals enjoy at the end of the party. Even these craft activities use recycled and reusable materials, such as previously used cardboard boxes and even paper towel tubes.
The party bags provided for the birthday child are now made out of post-consumer plastic, and feature a fun “Go Green” wildlife message. Gifts inside the bags include:
- A small plant growing kit, with seeds and soil included to encourage kids to garden at home
- A cool “Ellie-Pooh” elephant magnet, hand-crafted in Sri Lanka from elephant dung and post-consumer paper
- Recycled pencils made of bamboo
- Stickers with the Zoo’s “Go Green” logo
- Educational Top Trumps trading cards.
One of the new cards will feature the Western Pond Turtle, to educate participants about the Oakland Zoo’s ongoing conservation programs. The birthday child’s party bag also includes a very special plush animal: an Animals Asia “Moon Bear,” along with a tag describing the Zoo’s conservation project in China that works toward the preservation of these endangered animals. Supporting worldwide conservation programs is a major part of the Zoo’s ongoing conservation mission: “The Oakland Zoo is committed to action for improved global health and the preservation of biodiversity.”
So, don’t forget to call the Zoo and schedule your child’s special Education Birthday celebration. And have a Happy Green Day!