What we do…
The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (the charity that runs Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts and Newquay Zoo) campaigns to make the world a better place. Here are some of the things we do.
1. Marine plastic – Let’s Turn the Tide. We stopped selling single-use plastic water bottles in our zoos in order to set an example in the fight against marine plastic. There are good alternatives, such as water sold in cardboard boxes, cans and refillable bottles
2. Sustainable palm oil – Turn Over a New Leaf. We campaign for sustainable palm oil. Palm oil is important stuff – you’ve probably used it several times today without even knowing. But plantations growing palm oil and other crops destroy the rainforest habitat of orang utans and many other species. Sustainable palm oil means working with wildlife and local people
3. Native species – Nearby Nature. Our theme for 2018 is Nearby Nature, concentrating on native species in and around our zoos. There’s lots going on in between the exotic species – and a lot people can do at home to help encourage wildlife
4. Beach cleans. Living Coasts organises community beach cleans to help keep our local shoreline beautiful
5. Environmental Management System. Each of our zoos has an Environmental Management System, which means we work in as green a way as possible
6. Sustainable fish. We recommend the Good Fish Guide to ensure you’re not eating endangered species. Published by the Marine Conservation Society, it’s handy and easy-to-use
7. Marine Conservation Zones. We campaigned for and now support the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in Torbay because it helps to balance the needs of wildlife with those of shipping, leisure and fishing
8. Seagrass beds – the hidden habitat just off our beaches. Beautiful and precious in its own right, a bed of seagrass will also be home to seahorses and other amazing wildlife. We’re propagating seagrass with the aim of possibly planting new beds in the future
9. Grab That Gap – a great green idea to which zoos all over the country have signed up. The aim is to plant small, spare plots of ground around your zoo with wild flower seeds. You’ll be able to enjoy the results when you visit one of our zoos this summer!
10. Partners. We work with partners including charities, pressure groups, councils and other zoos to make good things happen. At Living Coasts, we’ve teamed up with the Torbay Cleaner Coasts Initiative and we sponsor the Seaside Awards & Blue Flag scheme for Torbay
What you can do…
1. Help native species in your office garden, car park or community space – we’re talking bird boxes, insect hotels, bird feeders, bat boxes, something for hedgehogs… Look out for the Nearby Nature display in the zoo shop or come along to one of our Nearby Nature events to learn more
2. Give your staff time to join a beach clean organised by Living Coasts – it’s fun, sociable, leaves the beach looking cleaner and you with a good feeling inside! Follow this link to find out when and where the next beach clean takes place: https://www.livingcoasts.org.uk/plan-your-visit/whats-on/events/detail/Coastal-clean-ups . And if you are local to Torbay, consider joining Torbay Cleaner Coasts Initiative http://www.tcci.org.uk/
3. Start a drive to give up single-use plastic water bottles in the office – buy your staff a Paignton Zoo branded reusable bottle each for when they’re out and about. Get your customers or suppliers to join in.
4. Look out for products that use sustainable palm oil – it’s not always easy to tell, but check the label – especially the small print!
5. Buy the right teabags for your office kitchen or canteen. Many have plastic in them. Some don’t, so you can look out for these, or just use tea leaves, which is probably more economical anyway
6. Did you know, fleece clothing is made from recycled plastic bottles? That’s great! Except… the plastic microfibers end up in the sea anyway as they come out during washing – and this form of plastic is potentially more harmful that the bottle! On this basis, it’s probably best to buy uniforms and branded corporate clothing made of natural fibres – and of course, to reduce the use of other plastics so there isn’t so much that needs to be disposed of or recycled in the first place
7. Pledge to reduce the amount of energy, or water, or both, your business uses – you’ll save money and do the planet a favour.
8. Reduce your travel impact – encourage staff to car share, use public transport, walk or cycle. You’ll cut down on emissions and probably be healthier as a result. Use technology like Skype to reduce the distance staff travel to meetings
9. Procurement – an ethical purchasing policy can help reduce the harm your business does to the planet every time you buy raw materials, goods or services. Make the right choices for a green future
10. Develop an Environmental Management System (we might even be able to advise on this). This will help you think about day-to-day activities in your company and how you can reduce waste, reduce environmental impacts, enhance your environmental credentials within your business sector and inspire others to change their business practises