Take Action

Take Action - Green Tips

Our mission is to contribute to the conservation of our earth’s animals, plants and other natural resources by challenging ourselves to act as responsible environmental stewards. But we cannot do it alone! Implementing green practices into your life can help reduce waste, conserve natural resources, and protect ecosystems and biodiversity.

How You Can Help
Here are a few simple ways to make an impact and protect wildlife. And remember, each time you visit Roger Williams Park Zoo, proceeds go towards conservation efforts locally and around the globe!
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
  • Bring reusable bags to the grocery store instead of using new plastic or paper bags.
  • Say no thank you to straws and other single-use plastic items.
  • Most recyclable items used on a daily basis including paper, glass, aluminum and cardboard can all be added to the recycle bin instead of the trash can.
  • Compost yard waste and kitchen waste and use it to feed your yard. You’ll put less matter in the landfill while nurturing your plants naturally. Don't know where to start? Find useful tips or buy a compost bin from RI Resource Recovery.
  • Or try vermicomposting - worms, can naturally convert organic waste into fertilizer!
  • Donate reusable items such as clothes, furniture, electronics, etc.
  • Don't buy new! Instead shop your local consignment/antique/thrift stores for some neat finds.

Sustainable Palm Oil

Palm oil is everywhere! This common ingredient is found in everyday items like soap, shampoo, snacks, etc. The Amazon Rainforest is home to some of the world's most unusual wildlife, many of which are critically endangered. Unfortunately, palm oil plantations have created significant deforestation and habitat loss - threatening these populations. But YOU can help! Take action by choosing to shop sustainably. 

  • Use the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping Guide in deciding what to put in your grocery store cart.
  • Look for the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) trademark on products you purchase.
  • #FollowtheFrog to make sure your product was sustainably sourced.
Eat Sustainably
  • Try Meatless Mondays to help reduce the emission of gases in our climate! Did you know that producing 2.2 pounds of beef takes enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for 20 days? Or that it takes 660 gallons of water to produce one hamburger? (Sources: Sustainable Table and Seafood Watch). 
  • Buy sustainable seafood. Ocean-friendly seafood is seafood that has been caught in a way that protects animals like sharks and rays and ensures fish populations thrive over time.
  • Shop locally. Buy food products in your community to reduce pollution caused by shipping products. It also helps to build your local economy.

Save the Bees

Believe it or not, you have a bee to thank for every one in three bites of food you eat. Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops — which supply about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition — are pollinated by bees. How can YOU help? Plant local plants in your garden to attract pollinators and ditch those pesky pesticides.

Punch out Plastics!

Here at the Zoo, we don't offer straws with drink purchases or plastic bags with gift purchases. Use reusable bags and forgo the straws and other plastic items that end up our oceans. Together we can Punch Out Plastics!

Help Save Elephants

Working to save highly endangered species here in Rhode Island and across the globe is a major focus in our conservation work. In 2015, we signed on in support of 96 Elephants, a worldwide campaign started by the Wildlife Conservation Society to help raise public awareness of the increased rate of African elephant poaching.

In 1980 there were 1.2 million elephants in Africa. By 2012, only 420,000 remained. If allowed to continue at its current rate of 96 elephants killed every day, the world will see the end of this magnificent species. Equally critical is the rate of killing rhinoceros for their horns.

The fact is sales of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horns bring millions of dollars to the criminals who ruthlessly harvest them. Though there are federal laws restricting import, export and interstate sale of ivory, this has not been enough to stop the killing. Several states have passed laws to ban the sale of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn, and products made from those animal parts.

Actions You Can Take to Support These Majestic Creatures:

  • Be an elephant aware consumer. Don't buy, sell or wear ivory or other wildlife products.
  • Buy elephant-friendly coffee and wood. Coffee and timber crops are often grown in plantations that destroy elephant habitats. Make sure to buy Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber and certified fair trade coffee.
  • Use your love of elephants to become a powerful advocate for these great creatures and spread the word! 

We encourage everyone to learn more about elephant conservation efforts supported by the Zoo both locally and around the world.

Be a Rainforest Rescuer! 80% of rainforest deforestation is caused by agriculture. The simple act of purchasing sustainably-grown products can make a huge difference. Here are a few things you can do:
Buy a Fish, Save a Tree

During the annual rainy season, the Amazon River rises more than 30 feet, flooding thousands of square miles of surrounding tropical forest.

As the forest floods, many different species of fish reproduce, and then become trapped in pools when the flood waters recede again. Many Brazilian communities ear their livelihoods by collecting these brilliantly colored fish before the isolated pools dry up. These fish are then exported and sold as pets.

This environmentally responsible industry provides income for the rural people, incentive for them to protect the tropical ecosystem, and a sustainable source of fish for the home aquarium trade.

If you have a home aquarium, or are considering starting one, please check out these local businesses that offer sustainably caught fish from the Rio Negro:

Something Fishy, Inc
1185 Jefferson Boulevard Warwick, RI 02886

Uncle Ned's Fish Factor
1590 Main St (Rte. 109) Millis, Massachusetts 02054 USA

Lovely Pets
69 Parkingway Quincy, Massachusetts 02169 USA


For more information and to learn more, please visit Project Piabia.

Cheyenne Mountain App

Palm oil is found in everything from convenience foods to personal care items.  It is a very efficient and relatively inexpensive crop to grow.  Unfortunately, it is usually grown unsustainably – by clearing rainforest land to build new palm oil plantations.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

The Cheyenne Mountain Palm Oil App makes it easy to find out if a product’s palm oil came from a sustainable or a non-sustainable source.  A quick search by product, brand, or barcode will let you know how rainforest-friendly your product is!

Which Everyday Products Contain Palm Oil? Click here to find out!

#Follow the Frog

Thousands of products around the world bear the “Rainforest Alliance Certified” seal.  This seal indicates that a product or company has met strict environmental, social, and economic sustainability standards.

You can help protect the rainforest by “Following the Frog” and looking for Rainforest Alliance seal on products ranging from bananas and chocolate to coffee and flowers!

Click HERE for more information. 

Find a full list of certified products by clicking HERE.

FSC Certified

FSC is an independent, non-profit organization that protects forests all around the world for future generations.  The Forest Stewardship Council has developed a certification system to help ensure that forests are responsibly managed. Today, more than 380 million acres of forest are certified under FSC’s system.

Look for the FSC logo on furniture and flooring to protect the rainforest. Buying paper products with the FSC logo protects trees in the US.

Click HERE for more information.

Local Grass-Fed Beef

As US trade policies and regulations change, more beef may be imported from Brazil. Since cattle ranching is a major contributor to rainforest destruction, as rainforest is cleared to create pasture, purchasing local grass-fed beef is a better choice.

Coins for Conservation

Cattle ranching consumes more than a third of Colombia’s territory and is the leading cause of deforestation. Nearly 2,600 ranchers are adopting sustainable practices that protect critical habitats while increasing production, profits and climate resilience. 

Colombian ranchers have already transformed 105,000 acres to environmentally-friendly practices. Nearly a million native trees have been planted. Meanwhile, participating ranchers report a reduction in the need for fertilizers and pesticides, more productive soils, increased loads (animals per hectare) and an average 10 percent increase in their milk and/or meat production.

Click HERE for more information on this project founded by The Nature Conservancy.

Amphibian populations are in decline due to disease and habitat loss with more than 200 frog species having gone extinct worldwide since the 1970s. Darwin's frog is one of the species whose population is in decline. The Chilean Amphibian Conservation Center, located in Chile, is helping prevent more frog species from going extinct by continuing conservation breeding programs.

Click HERE for more information on this project created by the San Antonio Zoo.

In Eastern Guatemala, slow-growing rainforest trees are regularly cut down for firewood faster than they can regrow. By creating community managed forests and providing essential training to villagers on sustainable practices we are able to save species - including the arboreal alligator lizard - and their environments. 

Click HERE for more information on this project and how it specifically impacts the arboreal alligator lizard.