At Lehigh Valley Zoo, because green initiatives are important to us, we try our best to incorporate fair trade and conservation commerce into our world, and yours. Conservation commerce is defined as any retail item that impacts humanity, education, preservation, ecosystems, environments, animal welfare, cultural traditions or reclaims, reuses or re-purposes goods for the betterment of the world. You can find a large assortment of these items in the Zoo Gift Shops. They are purchases you can feel good about.
· Handmade Crafts
Handmade crafts are an important part of Conservation Commerce because they provide work for indigenous people which helps them support their families. This also helps lessen carbon foot printing and keeps cultural traditions alive. Your purchase of handmade crafts allows these indigenous people and their families an income which in turn reduces or eliminates their need for bush meat and trafficking of endangered species.
· Recycled and Re-purposed Goods
These items have been made out of post-consumer goods and relay a message that items have other purposes rather than being put into landfills. Some examples might be musical instruments made out of bottle caps or bags incorporating re-purposed material. In addition, our Animal Keepers re-purpose retail packaging material such as cardboard tubes and boxes for use in animal enrichment.
This is a very important part of conservation commerce, as we must make sure we are NOT selling products that destroy endangered plant and animal habitat.
· Carbon Foot Printing/Pollution
We ensure the products we are selling are being made in a clean, environmentally friendly way and not causing substantial harm to our world and natural resources.
We remain cognizant of the materials used in the products we sell or provide to our guests. Whenever possible, we use plant materials that help protect forests and rain forests from slash and burn. At Lehigh Valley Zoo, instead of using paper plates and plastic utensils which end up in landfills, food is served on sustainable pressed palm leaf plates and utensils are made of bamboo. The palm leaf and bamboo are harvested through organic and sustainable farming and decompose quickly. We encourage you to choose “organic” and “sustainable” items in your own lifestyle choices.