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Take Action

You can help save animals here in Texas and all over the world! Here are just a few ways to take action and protect wildlife. And remember, every time you visit the Houston Zoo a portion of your ticket proceeds go towards saving animals in the wild! So, a simple zoo visit is a great action to take to protect wildlife!

Saving Animals in Action

Take Action for Apes!
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Action for Apes challenge! The Action for Apes challenge is a yearly contest to see which school or community organization can recycle the most cell phones.
Recycling unused and old electronics reduces the need to obtain new materials from mines in Central Africa, home to animals like chimpanzees, gorillas and okapi.
Missed the challenge, but still have cell phones to recycle? Bring them with you on your next visit to the Houston Zoo!
Read below for more ways you can save animals in the wild!

Plastic Recycling


Replacing single-use plastic items with reusable options keeps plastic out of the ocean and animals out of harm’s way.

Easy Action:
Use our water bottle refill stations to stay hydrated on your next visit.  

How the Houston Zoo Helps

  • The Houston Zoo is plastic bottle and plastic bag free!
  • The Houston Zoo holds annual beach clean ups to remove plastic trash and to involve the community in saving animals in the wild.

How You Can Help

  • Bring your reusable bags when shopping.
  • Say no thank you to straws and other single-use plastic items.

Ocean-Friendly Seafood

Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® Café in the Carruth Natural Encounters Building.


Ocean-friendly seafood is seafood that has been caught in a way that protects animals like sharks and rays and ensures fish populations thrive over time.

Easy Action:
Download the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app to learn which seafood options are best choices or good alternatives:
Apple Store
Google Play

How the Houston Zoo Helps

  •  All of the animals at the Houston Zoo that eat seafood eat ocean-friendly seafood.
  • The seafood that restaurants serve at Feast with the Beasts is required to be ocean-friendly.

How You Can Help

  • Use the Seafood Watch App when shopping at grocery stores or ordering at restaurants.

Paper Recycling

PaperRecycling_Take Action

The Houston Zoo uses paper made of recycled materials for our admission tickets. Reduce your use of paper to save forests that bears need to survive.

Easy action:
The Houston Zoo only uses toilet paper made from recycled content, and you can help animals by doing the same!Did you know that the average household uses 120 rolls of toilet paper each year? 27,000 trees are cut down every single day to provide toilet paper for the world. These trees are important habitat for animals like chimpanzees, wombats, and black bears.

Watch the Wipe for Wildlife Video

Using recycled paper created by our friends at New Leaf, we are continuing our efforts to save forests and the animals that live in it—like local black bears!

Cell Phone and Small Electronic Device Recycling

Next time you are at the Houston Zoo, stop by Gorillas and see this sculpture made out of old cell phones. Recyclable parts were removed before installation.

A material in cell phones, called Tantalum, is found in the same place in Africa that chimpanzees, gorillas and okapis live. By recycling your cell phone the material can be reused and you are saving animal homes.

Easy Action:
Recycle your cell phone and other handheld electronics at the Houston Zoo.

How the Houston Zoo Helps

  • The Houston Zoo works with and supports projects in Central Africa dedicated to saving animals like gorillas, chimpanzees and okapis.
  • Recycled cell phones are sent to Eco-Cell, a company that reuses or recycles phones. Any proceeds go to conservation projects to save animals in the wild.
  • The Houston Zoo, through the support of guests and members, has recycled approximately 12,769 cell phones to date and in 2016 1,633 other handheld electronic items were recycled.

How You Can Help

  • Wait as long as possible to get a new phone.
  • Are you a school, business or organization that wants to recycle phones on a big scale? Join the yearly Action for Apes Challenge, taking place February through April.

Learn more about recycling cell phones and small electronic devices:

Pollinator Awareness

Find examples of Pollination Stations, like this one, located throughout the John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo

Being pollinator friendly is saving butterflies, bees and other pollinators to save our food.

Easy Action:
Plant local plants in your garden to attract pollinators.

How the Houston Zoo Helps

  • Surrounding the Conservation Stage in the Front Entry Plaza of the Zoo, are pollinator friendly plants with signs identifying the type of plant. These are here for you to take pictures of and to bring to your local nursery to help you find pollinator friendly plants to place in your own garden.
  • The Houston Zoo provides habitats for pollinators through Pollinator Stations and butterfly gardens located throughout the Zoo.

How You Can Help

Learn more about pollinators:

Palm Oil Awareness

Look for more information about palm oil on your next visit to the Houston Zoo.

Palm oil, an ingredient in a wide range of products, is grown on the island of Borneo. The production of palm oil can cause extensive habitat loss for many animals. By becoming more aware of what ingredients are in the products you buy, you are saving animals like orangutans.

Easy Action:
Read the label and learn what is in the products you buy.

How the Houston Zoo Helps

  • The candy at Zoo Boo is palm oil free.
  • The Houston Zoo supports projects in Borneo that are directly working with local communities (including palm oil plantation employees) to reduce the impacts of this product on animals like orangutans, elephants and clouded leopards.

How You Can Help

  • If you buy products that contain palm oil, check to see if those companies are part of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Sustainable palm oil is grown in a way that does not negatively affect animals.

Learn more about palm oil:

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