You would think that aquariums and zoos would naturally be eco-friendly, but that is not always the case. Although they are little slices of the ocean and the world around us, aquariums and zoos need quite a bit of energy and power to operate. Green is all the rage and many of these aquariums and zoos are in the process of eco-overhauls. Many have been using an, what they deem, unnecessary amount of power.
Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, for instance, is revamping many of its exhibits, including the penguin exhibit. Redesigning the penguin exhibit will save the zoo 22,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year as well as 3 million gallons of water! Whether its engineering exhibits to utilize rainwater and microbes or tapping into geothermal power, there are a number of different ways an aquarium can get greener.
Chicago winters are bitterly cold, but officials at the Shedd Aquarium use winter to their advantage to keep the water temperature for the beluga whales at a cool 58 degrees year-round. How exactly do they accomplish this? Brian Handwerk of National Geographic writes, “Those efforts are aided by efficient equipment and ingenious green solutions, including winter systems that allow engineers cool water through a tower on the chilly Chicago rooftop instead of using power-hungry chillers.” That is an ingenious way of using area weather in an efficient way. Now if only snow and cold could power other things…
In addition to the weather, Shedd uses LED lights and even farms its own shrimp. As we move into the future, the aquarium will only continue to grow in terms of sustainability and efficiency. Other aquariums from coast to coast are hopping aboard the green train. What about your home aquarium? If you have any questions about efficient home aquariums, contact Arizona Aquatic Gardens!