Many zoos, aquariums, and museums (ZAMs) are already taking action to reduce disposable plastic use at their institutions, which is great in and of itself, and also, the research tells us, a great way to engage your visitors! See here for ideas on how to reduce your organization's disposable plastic use.
With that in mind, here are a couple of specific ideas for ZAMs who want to highlight their own commitments while encouraging visitors to take action during events on/around World Oceans Day!
Better reusable bag and bottle promotions – Many ZAMs have already taken steps to reduce, if not eliminate, use of disposable plastic bags and bottles, and also have begun to promote and/or sell reusable bags and bottles. Take it to the next level by staying in touch with visitors! Ask visitors to take the Better Bag Challenge. As a reward for signing on with their email address for World Oceans Day, provide them with a reusable bag that includes positive messaging that allows them to tout their commitment. Consider adding a tag to the bag with the additional steps they can take. The Saint Louis Zoo is implementing many of these recommendations and adding a social media twist: to amplify the impact of their commitment, teen volunteers are asking visitors to share their pledge on social media sites with a hashtag (in their case, #byetobags).
- Showcasing “trash-free” celebrations – Celebrate with a trash-free event for World Oceans Day, highlight what you've done so visitors are aware, and encourage visitors to join you in taking action. Ask your visitors to take the Better Bag Challenge, or another step that aligns directly with your event, such as a pledge to avoid disposable plastics at their picnics and parties this summer.
Last but not least, consider conducting an exit survey to see how people responded, both to the challenge, and to the ask for action. Contact our World Oceans Day coordinator for more. And please refer back to the Better Bag Challenge section of this site for more tips on messaging and follow up with events like these.
Have suggestions to add to this list? Please get in touch.