In 2019, the overall environmental sustainability program theme for your Toronto Zoo was #EveryActionCounts. This encompassed a broad number of sustainability programs and included a temporary exhibit called Washed Ashore – Art To Save The Sea. We are so pleased to share that Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) recognized this program and your Toronto Zoo with the Eleanore Oakes Award for Education Program Design. This award recognizes the #EveryActionCounts program for outstanding achievement and innovation in education program design that enhances conservation knowledge and/or promotes positive conservation attitudes and behaviour.
By incorporating #EveryActionCounts into every program we were able to highlight to our guests how their actions and choices can have a positive impact on wildlife and their habitats. By highlighting how plastic use and waste is impacting wildlife, wild spaces and contributing to climate change #EveryActionCounts demonstrated climate science in action and inspired people to advocate for change and help the Zoo fight extinction.
Your Toronto Zoo was proud to partner with 10,000 Changes on the Washed Ashore exhibit, which saw more than 1,000,000 guests experience the temporary exhibit that featured large sculptures of animals made entirely of plastic debris that washed ashore. Launched in June 2019, 10,000 Changes is a multi-platform plastics engagement program aimed at helping Canada move toward zero plastic waste by driving meaningful reductions in the plastic that’s produced, used, and discarded by Canadians. 10,000 Changes brings together the policy strength and subject matter expertise of Recycling Council of Ontario, and the communications power and reach of Royal Canadian Geographic Society and Canadian Geographic, to educate and inspire Canadian individuals, governments, businesses, and classrooms to change the way they produce, consume, and dispose of plastics.
“Your Toronto Zoo is proud to receive the Eleanore Oakes Award for Education Program Design for our #EveryActionCounts campaign and I am so pleased to see our team’s efforts being recognized” said Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo. “By setting a positive example and promoting public awareness of environmental issues, your Toronto Zoo continues to be an important source of information and inspiration for people to help protect biodiversity and fight climate change,” he added.
In support of #EveryActionCounts, your Toronto Zoo also released its Palm Oil and Plastic Commitment Statements. The Zoo committed to the use of only sustainably produced palm oil by the year 2023 and to reduce plastic use within Zoo operations and ensure recycling of 100% of all plastic used at the Zoo by 2027. We have set a goal of eliminating single-use plastic and virgin plastics offered to our guests at retail outlets by the year 2025.