A zoo in the USA has revealed it will use anaerobic digestion (AD) to help it achieve its ambitious environmentally-friendly goal of being powered entirely by Michigan-made renewable energy.
The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) announced it has installed an anaerobic digester that is able to make compost and energy from herbivore animal waste and food scraps.
In addition to this, it has a permeable pavement that diverts rainwater from storm water drains; it uses solar/electric hybrid golf carts and bicycles to get around the site; and it has become the first zoo in America to fit a ground-mounted solar panel system. This alone is thought to generate over 4,000 kilowatts of electricity a year.
Its commitment to meeting its 100 per cent renewable energy goal comes as part of DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program. As well as the new green design features on the site, the zoo will offset 7,425 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which amounts to 8,740 acres of US forests a year.
Ron Kagan, DZS executive director and chief executive officer, said: “Our commitment to sustainability is integrated into everything we do, from our environmentally responsible operations to our community-wide education programs.”
He went on to say the MIGreenPower program will help the zoo “reduce our carbon footprint while also supporting local, Michigan-made renewable energy” as the site requires more power than what it can produce itself.
Actively supporting renewable energy projects is important to the zoo, as it tries to protect wildlife from the impending threat of climate change.
Earlier this summer, it celebrated World Oceans Day to “shed light on the impacts our actions can have” in an attempt to encourage the public to protect more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface.