Zoo’s penguin exhibit built with animals and environment in mind

Helzberg-Penguins-Blog-Post-PhotoThe Kansas City Zoo buzzed with activity when it opened the new Helzberg Penguin Plaza in October. The new facility was designed with both penguins and the environment in mind. Greenability Magazine organized a tour of the facility in January, sharing information about how the zoo made sustainable decisions when building this regional amenity.

For the penguins’ comfort, the lights in the exhibit are automated to mimic the schedule of the Southern Hemisphere. To conserve energy, the lights in the employee area turn off automatically when not in use. The air and exhaust systems turn off automatically when the doors to the outside open. Additionally, 64 solar panels were installed on the roof to offset some of the energy used in the building.

To save water, the 100,000-gallon tank is filtered instead of drained. Used water is routed to holding basins that filter, sanitize and then return clean water to the exhibit. The system processes water at a rate of 945 gallons per minute, completing a full cycle in about half an hour!

The Helzberg Penguin Plaza is also a LEED-certified building. The exhibit was constructed with 20 percent recycled material, and 75 percent of all construction waste was diverted from the landfill.

Major League Baseball scores big with recycling

Baseball fans have probably heard of the Gold Glove Award, given annually to the top fielder at each position in each league. Did you know that Major League Baseball (MLB) also gives an annual award for the top recycler in each division? The San Francisco Giants have taken the Green Glove Award for six years in a row. In 2013 the Giants kept more than 86 percent of the total waste generated at AT&T Park from going to the landfill.

The top teams in each division and league were also recognized, along with two wild card teams from each league. The teams recognized include:

American League National League
League Champion Seattle Mariners San Francisco Giants
East Division Champion Boston Red Sox Miami Marlins
Central Division Champion Minnesota Twins Pittsburgh Pirates
West Division Champion Seattle Mariners San Francisco Giants
Wild Card 1 Oakland Athletics San Diego Padres
Wild Card 2 Cleveland Indians Milwaukee Brewers

The award is based on self-reporting from each club. Major League Baseball started awarding teams in 2006 in alliance with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

IMG_5016_webeditEven though the Kansas City Royals didn’t make the Green Glove list this year, they took significant sustainable steps during the 2012 All-Star game, as reported in NRDC’s Game Changer report. For example, the Royals partnered with Kansas City Power & Light to install 120 solar panels — the largest in-stadium solar array in any MLB facility. They reduced paper waste by creating an electronic media guide and using digital ticketing. And also in 2012, Kauffman Stadium improved the efficiency of the famous Kauffman fountains through a partnership with Grundfos, based in Olathe, Kan.