The Indianapolis Zoo's Gift Shop is a very popular spot during the holidays. It's where young and old alike can find all kinds of wonderful gift items for the animal lovers on their lists, and this year, shoppers will be enjoying not just unique gifts, but truly "green" shopping. This past spring, the Zoo's gift shop was completely renovated, and environmentally sustainable issues were taken into account during the design and construction phases of this extensive remodeling project.
Here are just a few “green” features that were incorporated into the “new” gift shop:
* Energy Efficient Lighting – The spotlights in the store are now 90 watt halogen bulbs that only produce 16 watts of heat, and the lighting in Conservation Corner now consists of 7.2 watt LEDs that give off only 7.2 watts of heat. Each lamp has a lifespan of 50,000 hours (20 times longer than the typical halogen light bulb), which means waste-stream impact is reduced at the landfill.
* Low VOC Paint – We know this is better for the environment, but do you know what it means? Don’t feel bad. We didn’t either. VOC stands for “volatile organic compounds.” The average paint contains up to 10,000 chemicals, of which 300 are known toxins that continue to be released over time. Low VOC paint releases minimal volatile organic compounds.
* Recycled Building Materials – Wall boards were reclaimed and recycled from the children’s Zoo fencing. The cultured stone in the store is comprised of 54% pre-consumer recycled material with low emissions. And last but not least, the wall supports were made from recycled fallen tree trunks foraged from local Indiana forest floors.
* Green Manufactured Floor Tile – The designers decided to use vinyl floor tile, which was chosen because it uses less energy in manufacturing, transportation and installation than other natural flooring products. In addition, vinyl flooring lasts longer and is one of the most resilient flooring materials available. Its long life reduces the waste stream because fewer energy and resources go into replacing the flooring, and the product itself is characterized by low VOC emissions of product and adhesives.
* 100% Green Energy – Finally, just like the rest of the Zoo, the gift shop is a 100% green power user through IPL’s sustainable energy program.
Through the use of these unique, energy saving resources, the Zoo and its retail partner, Event Network, are able to offer guests an environmentally friendly place to buy those popular Indianapolis Zoo souvenirs while we continue our program of leading by example on how to promote environmentally sustainable business practices.